Clark Howard: Insure your business from hackers

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If you have a small business, there’s a new insurance policy I recommend to protect you in the event of a data breach.

We hear so much about the big companies in the news with data breaches — Sony, Target, Home Depot — but we don’t often hear about small businesses.

People tend to punish the retailer when there’s a big breach. Yet a new CreditCards.com survey finds the younger you are as a shopper, the less bothered you are by these breaches. But here’s the thing: I think it’s particularly important to know the retailers — whether you’re talking about Target, Home Depot, Sony, or anybody else — are not at fault with these data breaches. The blame lies with the banks.

After all, it’s the banks that have stayed with 1960s-era magnetic-strip technology on credit cards. When the new chip-and-PIN system for credit cards is rolled out, that will go a long way to addressing our vulnerability as a nation.
That’s the big guys. But what if you own your own business? Can you handle a breach that could wipe out your accounts? Of course not.

That’s why I’m recommending that you take a look at breach insurance if you own a small business.

Let me preface this by saying this stuff is not cheap. It can cost a couple thousand dollars a year, according to USA Today. But I think it’s well worth it, particularly if you are very heavily data dependent in your business.

You can get a quote from your business insurance agent or broker.

Remember, if you work hard — like all small business owners do — you don’t want to risk insolvency in the event of a data breach.

Clark Howard — Save More, Spend Less, Avoid Rip-offs — for the Atlanta Bargain Hunter blog

Consumer expert Clark Howard’s column appears here each Thursday in conjunction with Deal Spotter, a weekly print section in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Find more answers to your consumer questions at Clark’s website

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