Cyber Protection During Mega Shopping Holidays

From Black Friday to Cyber Monday, it’s extra important to protect private data over Thanksgiving weekend.

Cyber Safe Holidays

For many decades, Thanksgiving has been the unofficial kickoff to major holiday shopping sprees. From the madness of Black Friday to the incredible deals on Cyber Monday, hordes of people flock to retail outlets and websites, throwing their cyber data, credit card numbers, and passwords all over the place on the way. With so much going on combined with the pressure to hustle to grab time-sensitive sales, less attention is paid to protecting private information.

Fortunately, if you’re a business, an independent insurance agent can help you find the right commercial cyber liability insurance to protect you and your customers from a data breach. And if you’re not a business, an independent insurance agent can still help individuals to find their own personalized cyber liability insurance. Here’s why you need this crucial protection no matter who you are, and why it’s even more important during the Thanksgiving season.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday Stats

It’s not enough to know that the shopping holidays around Thanksgiving are big events. In fact, that’s quite the understatement. To truly grasp the importance of cyber liability insurance to protect sensitive data for both personal shoppers and businesses, it’s critical to see just how busy these mega shopping holidays are. Check out a few powerful stats for Black Friday and Cyber Monday below.

Consumers Who Plan to Shop on Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the United States as of September 2020

Nearly 54% of respondents to a survey conducted in September 2020 reported that they’d be shopping online on Black Friday this year, compared to 16.1% who said they’d be shopping in stores that day. A whopping 49% reported that they’d be shopping on Cyber Monday. Only 27.7% of respondents said they wouldn’t shop on either holiday.

Desktop Retail Spending on Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday in the United States from 2008 to 2019

©Statista 2019

Since 2008, online retail spending on Thanksgiving holidays has steadily been increasing. In 2019, $4.6 billion was spent during sales on Cyber Monday, another $3.68 billion online on Black Friday, and $2.3 billion online on Thanksgiving Day. This is a huge jump from just over a decade before, in 2008, when electronic sales only totaled in the millions for each holiday.

Reasons Why Consumers Do Not Plan to Go to Physical Stores on Black Friday in the United States as of September 2020

In 2020, there will be even more of a focus on online shopping instead of in-store shopping on Black Friday. The leading response as to why shoppers will opt to make their purchases online this year was too many crowds at 60.8%. Next up was health and safety concerns, reported by 57.1% of respondents. Another 48.4% simply felt that Black Friday shopping in stores was not worth the hassle.

With such an emphasis on online shopping, especially this year, demands for the right cyber liability insurance are also increasing. Talk to an independent insurance agent about cyber liability insurance today to make sure you’re adequately protected over Thanksgiving weekend, and all other times of the year.

What Are the Most Common Cyber Insurance Claims?

Clearly cyber concerns are even more prevalent now than ever with more shoppers turning to their computers and mobile devices to stay safe and avoid the crowds on Black Friday this year. Which also means that having cyber liability insurance is more important now than ever. Check out a few of the most common cyber liability insurance claims and see for yourself.

Some of the most common cyber liability insurance claims include:

  • Social engineering: Otherwise known as receiving an email from someone claiming to be a person they’re not, such as a banker or manager, and them requesting important information like passwords or banking information. Once the crook secures private data, they can use it to hack into accounts and systems or sell it for profit, which further exposes the victim’s data and puts them at greater risk.
  • Data breach: Simply put, a data breach is an incident in which private or secure information is exposed to a party that’s not supposed to have access to it. Often data breaches are not known by the victim until another incident happens, such as their credit card information being used to make an unauthorized purchase.
  • Stolen funds: This crime involves hackers directly breaking into someone’s electronic bank account and stealing from them.
  • Ransomware: A type of malware, ransomware involves a hacker demanding a ransom in exchange for not publishing or denying access to a victim’s stolen data.
  • Identity theft: This crime involves a person using stolen information, such as someone else’s Social Security number or credit card number to commit fraud or other dishonest acts.

Now that you’re aware of some of the most common cyber liability insurance claims, make sure to work with your independent insurance agent to get set up with a policy that can protect you from these threats and any others you may be concerned about.

How Cyber Liability Insurance Can Help Protect Your Business

In this modern world, it’s always important for businesses to be equipped with the right cyber liability protection. However, it’s at least twice as important for retail outlets to have this coverage during the busiest shopping holidays of the year. Cyber liability insurance can help protect businesses through the added stresses of the heaviest trafficked times of all.

Cyber liability insurance is necessary for businesses over Thanksgiving weekend because of:

  • The much higher volume of transactions: Over Thanksgiving weekend, retailers see a much larger number of sales than any other time of year. With so many credit card numbers and other private information being transferred over their network at a much higher rate than usual, it creates a much more attractive target for hackers. Cybercriminals don’t have to spend nearly as much time gathering enough sensitive data to sell when they can gather it all at once on a mega shopping holiday like Black Friday.
  • The constant use of company networks: With businesses being so overwhelmed by the sheer number of transactions on these holidays, it’s all too easy for criminals to make their way into the network while it’s open and exposed. Businesses don’t want to risk losing sales by taking their system offline to update security patches during these shopping rushes, which means cybercriminals have a greater probability of slipping in undetected.
  • The increased number of emails: With a much larger volume of emails coming in to businesses over Thanksgiving weekend, there’s also a much greater threat of being exposed to phishing incidents and other scams. All it takes is one employee to open an email they shouldn’t, and the entire company network could end up compromised.

While virtually all businesses should be equipped with cyber liability insurance today, it’s extra imperative to have enough coverage before Thanksgiving weekend rolls around. An independent insurance agent can help your business get set up with all the protection it needs to defend against hackers and other cyber threats before the busiest time of year.

How Cyber Liability Insurance Can Help Protect You as a Shopper

It’s obvious that cyber liability insurance is critical for businesses, but really it’s just as important for personal shoppers to have over the holidays. Shoppers are nearly as busy as retail employees over Thanksgiving weekend, which means they’re pretty much equally as vulnerable to cyber threats.

Cyber liability insurance is necessary for shoppers over Thanksgiving weekend because of:

  • The rush to get the best deals: Many sales have time constraints over Thanksgiving weekend, which means shoppers are rushing to get to the right stores or websites while the clock is ticking. With much more attention being paid to speed and scoring deals than to one’s privacy, it’s all too easy for shoppers to have their personal information stolen in the process.
  • The increased number of emails: Just like businesses, shoppers also get a largely increased volume of emails around and through Thanksgiving weekend. More emails means more risk of phishing scams and social engineering attacks, which can leave shoppers vulnerable to crimes like identity theft and more.
  • The risk of visiting malicious websites: During the hustle to lock down the greatest deals, it’s much easier for shoppers to accidentally wind up on a sketchy website packed with malware. One phony link clicked can cause a shopper’s entire system to get infected within seconds or minutes. Malware can expose passwords, private files, and compromise the entire operation of your computer or other device.

Even if you’re not working at a retail outlet on Black Friday or Cyber Monday, and even if you’re not actually planning to set foot in any physical stores, it’s still crucial to be equipped with cyber liability insurance during this holiday weekend. An independent insurance agent can tell you even more reasons cyber liability insurance is so important to have, and get you set up with all the coverage you need to ensure your shopping weekend runs smoothly and cleanly.

Here’s How an Independent Insurance Agent Would Help

When it comes to protecting businesses and shoppers against cyber threats over Thanksgiving weekend and all other incidents, no one’s better equipped to help than an independent insurance agent. Independent insurance agents search through multiple carriers to find providers who specialize in cyber liability insurance, deliver quotes from a number of different sources, and help you walk through them all to find the best blend of coverage and cost.

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