Buy Home Insurance Online – Privacy and Security Concerns
It is only natural that when a potential policyholder is about to buy home insurance online, they will have privacy and security concerns regarding the website they are using. The Internet has changed the way in which we buy home insurance policies. It’s provided the capability to compare policies in seconds, and then purchase products online. Most ‘buy online’ type products can be purchased using a credit card, and then provide the capability to download the policy documents within minutes. At the same time there is the constant worry in the minds of most consumers regarding protecting their personal privacy and the security. In fact for the majority of transactions in the UK, people still prefer to buy from people over the phone. They prefer the reassurance speaking to a qualified operator, about their individual insurance needs and requirements. However for an increasing numbers of younger, ‘internet savvy’ consumers, buying online is a great way to find a great premium…
Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in the United Kingdom. It is primarily orchestrated by organised criminal gangs. They have resources to create sophisticated tracking viruses, Trojan horses and other parasitic software – all aimed to steal personal and financial data. Every time you shop online who are at risk from attack from cyber criminals. Luckily the insurance industry is probably one of the most regulated business sectors. This dictates who is licensed to advise and sell insurance, their security procedures and any specific sales claims posted on their company website. There are a whole raft of regulations to ensure consumers are protected from miss-selling. Consequently you can be confident about the security and privacy policies employed by websites owned and controlled by the major home insurers in the UK.
However there are literally hundreds and hundreds of other insurance website UK. The regulatory status of the companies that control those websites varies. To make matters more confusing cyber criminals are now ‘cloning’ entire websites – to make them look and feel exactly as the original one may have copied. Their aim is to trick unwitting consumers into handing over credit card and personal information. So regardless of which websites you finally choose to buy home insurance online from, you should make sure you follow these basic safety rules when buying online:-
- Check who owns the Seller website – the explosion in the number of people using price comparison websites to check home insurance premiums, raises a number of concerns. As a consumer you are responsible responsible for checking the security setup of any external websites, that a price comparison website may have redirect you to. In other words do not assume that all listings in a major aggregator have got the latest security procedures to combat identity theft. The aggregator is not responsible for any changes to a 3rd party home insurance website linking from them. It is possible to check who owns a website within seconds, using the various WHOIS database services online. Your first port of call should be the ‘about us’ section of each website you visit, as well as any other corporate information – detailing the business address and telephone numbers, company registration number and FSA registration number.
- Update your PC Security Software – it is vital your personal computer has industry-standard security software loaded on it. As a bare minimum you should have a firewall, virus checker and some type of adware checker. Almost even more importantly it should be updated in real-time as soon as updates become available. The only reason an update is created is to combat the emergence of a new (and as yet), newly discovered threat. As around 1000 new threats appear daily, in the form of viruses, spyware, trojans, etc; it becomes pretty obvious why configuring your security software to self update itself is vital. Never get lazy and set your own PC security software to only update when you remember to click a button. Avoid downloading free security software – as much of it is simply a clever trek by cyber gangs to steal your personal data.
- Secure Shopping – in terms of website security, buying a home insurance online is no different from buying any other product from an online shop. When you enter your personal details into any online form, you should make sure the URL address bar begins with ‘https’. This signifies that the contents of that particular webpage are encrypted and the payment or submission of the form will be made over a secure web server. If you are submitting any type of form online that is not encrypted, it is technically possible for someone else to intercept and steal that data. If you’re insurance companies payment page redirects you to a third party payment website (such as Worldpay or PayPal) you can be confident that you are shopping securely in an encrypted environment.
- Avoid clicking on links within e-mails – one of the favourite tricks of the cyber criminals is to impersonate a genuine company. Using fairly primitive web technology, it is possible to completely replicate the look and feel of any website. Unwary visitors may receive an unmonitored e-mail ‘supposedly’ from one of the large home insurance companies, that looks genuine. If the user clicks on the link within the fake email, they are then redirected to a dummy website pretending to be the real thing. Of course the entire site is fictitious and any data and credit card information submitted can be stolen.
For a Home Insurance Quote contact Assetsure. We are able to offer insurance for a wide range of Uk property types including nonstandard construction.