Toral: Add cyber insurance on your digital shield

(Janette Toral)
(Janette Toral)

In my Digital Influencer webinar series last February, I learned about the importance of cyber insurance from Jaime Siybauco of Siybauco Insurance and decided to get one for myself. As digital connectivity is a crucial aspect of daily life, the shadow of cyber threats looms large over the Philippines. Our country faces an increasing volume of cyber incidents. 

The cyber risks faced by Filipinos are varied and evolving. They include identity theft which is the unauthorized use of personal information to commit fraud; online fraud or scams conducted via the Internet, including retail and investment schemes; harassment or bullying conducted online; data breaches or unauthorized access to personal or business data; and electronic fund transfer fraud where illegal transfer of funds takes place from a victim's account.

In addition to improving your cybersecurity practices, cyber insurance serves as a critical response to various cyber risks, offering financial compensation for losses incurred due to cyber incidents. More than just a financial buffer, it also often provides access to expert support services, such as legal advice, cybersecurity assistance, and psychological counseling, helping victims recover more comprehensively.

For the average Filipino who navigates daily life through the internet—be it shopping online, managing finances, or connecting on social media—the risk of encountering cyber threats is high. Personal cyber insurance can provide crucial financial and emotional relief in the event of identity theft, online fraud, or cyberbullying, ensuring that victims can recover with minimal disruption to their lives.

The shift towards online learning has exposed educators and students to new cyber vulnerabilities. Cyber insurance can protect against the consequences of cyberbullying, unauthorized access to educational accounts, and theft of intellectual property, ensuring a safe and secure learning environment.

Children and teenagers are particularly susceptible to online dangers, including cyberbullying and exploitation. Parents can leverage cyber insurance to address potential emotional and financial fallout from such incidents, providing a layer of protection for their children's online activities.

As more seniors embrace the Internet for communication, entertainment, and services, they also become potential targets for cyber scams and fraud. Cyber insurance can help seniors navigate the aftermath of such incidents, offering support for recovery and reimbursement of losses.

Businesses need cyber insurance

The digital economy has enabled many Filipinos to run businesses from home or work as freelancers. These small operations often lack the sophisticated cybersecurity measures of larger companies, making them attractive targets for cybercriminals. Cyber insurance can protect against data breaches, financial fraud, and other digital risks that can otherwise jeopardize their livelihood.

Lawyers, accountants, healthcare providers, and other professionals who manage sensitive data face significant risks if this information is compromised. Beyond the immediate financial impact, a data breach can erode client trust and attract regulatory penalties. Cyber insurance offers a financial safety net for such professionals, covering legal fees, notification costs, and more.

As the digital landscape in the Philippines continues to grow, so does the importance of cyber insurance in safeguarding against digital dangers. Whether you're an online shopper, a small business owner, or a parent, cyber insurance offers a necessary layer of protection in today's interconnected world.


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