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BizReport : Social Marketing : September 19, 2012

UK's first social media insurance product launched

Cases of hacking and subsequent reputation damage and ID theft are on the rise, particularly within social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter. A London-based privacy firm has come up with a solution - insurance protection.

by Helen Leggatt

allow logo.pngHundreds of thousands of Facebook accounts are hacked every day, and Twitter accounts are no safer. A recent report from Norton warns that hackers are moving into the mobile and social space.

Apart from keeping passwords safe and complex, and locking down privacy settings, what else can you do to better protect your online reputation and identity?

You could get insurance.

In collaboration with Legal Insurance Management, privacy firm Allow has just launched a new consumer insurance product, the first of its kind in the UK. The product launch comes after it became apparent young Internet users wanted more control over the commercial use of their personal information and content.

In a recent blog post, Allow comments on the findings of the Chartered Insurance Institute in the UK, saying, "young Internet users are concerned about the ability to control the commercial use of their name, image or other aspects of their identity. More than half (56%) expressed an interest in protecting personal image rights through insurance cover. More than a quarter of young people (26%) would consider social media insurance to safeguard their reputation."

Allow's new consumer product pays for legal advice and support in the event of a claim, with dedicated caseworkers and online experts that will locate, remove, or hide, the offending material. Up to £10,000 ($16,000) in professional fees and ancillary costs for any one incident in respect of identity theft or account jacking is offered, or £3,500 ($5,700) in respect of any reputational damage.

The cover also includes stopping any legal action resulting from a hacker posting illegal material using a victim's name.

"This is a unique piece of consumer social media protection, which perhaps wouldn't have been needed a few years ago," says Justin Basini, Allow's CEO. "That's all changed now. Every Internet user faces a certain level of risk that one day a digital criminal will target them or that they will suffer damage to their reputation."

The cover comes bundled with the existing Allow Protect product and the cost is reasonable at £3.99 ($6.50) a month.

Would you take out similar cover if it was available to you?

Tags: cybercrime, ID theft, insurance, online protection, online reputation, social media, UK

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