(The Root) — It's probably a safe bet that we've all been hacked at one time or another. If a Facebook friend got one of those annoying shoe ads that appeared to come from you, it means you were hacked. And there is a new tweet going around right now claiming to show you who's posting "shocking" information about you on Twitter.
First, don't click the link; and second, let the person who sent it to you know that he or she has been hacked. But while these hacks are more of a nuisance than anything else, sometimes hacking is done with very malicious intent in an attempt to destroy your online reputation.
With so much at stake, would you be willing to protect your social networks by purchasing social media insurance?
Justin Basini, CEO of the United Kingdom-based privacy company Allow, hopes this will be a trend that catches on. For £3.99 ($6.46) a month, the company provides a number of services to protect your social media networks and your personal information. Allow will provide legal advice if you are attacked online and want to sue. The company will also help to stop any legal action taken against you that was caused by the hacking.
According to reports, Allow's new product covers subscribers up to £10,000 ($16,000) in professional fees and ancillary costs for any one incident concerning identity theft or account jacking. For any reputation-related damages, coverage is up to £3,500 ($5,700). Cash payouts aren't available.
The insurance company will also ensure that your accounts are disabled if hacked and will suppress any offensive material that may have been sent out onto the Web. Allow provides information about how your personal data are being used and gives you the ability to opt out of data mining techniques on different online sites.
Stopping junk emails, spam and cookies makes up another aspect of what your insurance coverage provides. Ensuring your privacy and protecting you from potential identity theft by controlling your personal info online is the primary goal of Allow.
I am fairly certain that it will only be a (short) matter of time before this type of insurance is available in the U.S. The question, then, becomes whether or not anyone will buy into the idea. Managing your own social networks by having strong passwords and controlling privacy settings is a good start, but is it enough? Would you buy insurance to stay better protected?
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