VirtualThreat Contributing Writer
Social media insurance? Can you believe it? I can. According to statistics, 7 Facebook accounts are hacked every second. How many of you have either had your social media account hacked or know someone who has? Most of us have seen those notorious posts on a friend’s Facebook profile with a link claiming to be a celebrity sex video or some shocking news story. They always include several comments from other friends saying things like “Hey buddy, I think your account may have been hacked.” Another problem can happen if a malicious individual puts up fake social media profiles in your name. Could you imagine the damage that an angry ex-wife or employee might inflict to your name if they were to use such a tactic?
Nicola Brookes, a 45 year old mother, was tormented for nine months by anonymous individuals when they created a Facebook profile under her name. The fake profile showed a picture of her as well as her real email address and went on to portray her as a drug dealer, prostitute and child abuser. The hackers even broken into her email account and were sending explicit messages under her name. In the end Miss Brookes won a landmark case compelling Facebook to turn over information on the malicious users. Luckily Ms. Brookes found a sympathetic law office willing to take on the case for free, however the attorney’s typical charge was roughly $7500.
With an increase in cases like this, we are seeing more companies start to offer insurance as a way to provide legal assistance to help find and prosecute those responsible for the malicious activity. UK-based company, Allow Limited, was one of the first social media insurance companies to get a foothold in this new industry. The ALLOW Protect service provides you with 7 identity protection features and up to £10,000 of insurance to help if you are a victim of account hacking, identity theft or reputation damage. All of this and the cost is only £3.99 per month. Justin Basini, founder and CEO of Allow, said “Our mission is to make it possible for everyone to gain control over their data and personal information.”
Social media insurance could be a great idea if you are at all concerned about your privacy and your name or brand getting damaged online. As the number of people getting hacked online rises, we will start to see many more companies offering similar hacker insurance services.