October is Cyber Security Awareness Month. Since the pandemic, more individuals are using digital accounts for purchasing through the internet. This can leave you vulnerable & increase your risk for a cyber-attack.

The majority of cyber-attacks begin with phishing emails. Knowing how to spot a phishing email is critical for protecting yourself from a cyber-attack.

Phishing emails are designed to make you click on links. They will often come from companies you use regularly such as Amazon, Apple, Netflix, or other well-known companies. They will often use their logo to make it appear it is coming from the company itself.

What steps do you need to take to determine if it is a scam?

Hover over the domain or email address in your inbox. This quickly gives you the answer you are looking for. If the email address is long or doesn’t look correct, it is a phishing email. If you are unsure if this is a phishing email, contact the company directly.

How to identify a phishing email

Best Practices for Internet Use:

  • Never click on links in emails. If you are concerned, go directly to the company’s website and login if this is possible.
  • If an email is asking you to verify your login, payment information, or any other personal data, this should be a red flag. Do not provide the info. If you are concerned, reach out to the company directly.
  • Don’t download attachments from emails.
  • Always choose a strong password. This should be up to 15 characters long with a variety of letters, numbers, or symbols. You can even use a phrase.
  • Change your password regularly. While this can be annoying, it is best practice.
  • Don’t repeat your password for multiple accounts.
  • If you share a computer with others, use individual accounts for logging in. Always log out of your account when you leave the computer.
  • Have a firewall installed on your computer.
  • If you are asked to save your password on your computer, don’t save it. This can leave you vulnerable.
  • If you have the option for two-step authentication, always choose it.
  • Always update the software on your tablet & phone.
  • Be aware of public wifi. This can leave you vulnerable to a cyber-attack.

How Could You Determine If You Have Been Hacked?

Whether it is your email, social media account, or bank account, if you see something that looks off, change your password immediately. We also recommend running an anti-virus or malware software on your computer too.

Follow these tips to help lower your risk for a cyber-attack. If you have questions about your insurance, contact our agency.

Insurance for your college student in Gilbert, AZLeaving for college is an exciting time for your child. Whether your child is moving out of state, moving out of your home or even living with you at home, college is a new chapter in his or her life. Being your agent, there are a few common questions we get asked about insurance.

Does My Child Need Renters Insurance at College?

It’s best we review your current home insurance policy as it may offer some coverage for your child’s belongings while away. Simply give us a quick call and we can do a review. If your child is living off campus, you may want to consider purchasing a renters insurance policy in his or her name. This can be as little as $30/month. As a bonus, this can provide liability coverage too.

My Child Will Not Be Taking a Car to School, Can I Take Them Off My Auto Insurance Policy?

Talk to your agent about this first before canceling. If your child plans to drive a vehicle when he or she returns home or if your child ever drives a friend’s car at school, it is best to keep your child on your policy.

Car Insurance Discounts For Your Child

A few car insurance discounts exist with insurance carriers. It’s important to discuss discount options with one of our agents.

Good Grade Discount – if your child gets good grades, talk to your agent to see if he or she can qualify for a good grade discount.

Multi-policy Discount – if your child has both an auto and renters insurance policy, he or she can earn a discount for bundling the policies together.

Resident discount – if your child is attending college over 100 miles away, but isn’t taking his or her vehicle, your child may qualify for a resident discount. Since the car will be parked at your home and is insured in your name, some insurance carriers will give you a discount since the car will not be used as often.

My Child Is Taking A Car To College. What Should I Know About Auto Insurance?

Reach out to your agent to update the garage address to keep the auto insurance policy up-to-date.

Should My Child Purchase His or Her Own Auto Insurance Policy?

If your child has moved out of the house permanently, it might be time to purchase a separate policy. We can explain their coverage options and shop all of our insurance carriers.

It's National Preparedness Month - Here is how it relates to your insurance in Gilbert, AZFEMA, Ready.gov and Listo.gov are big voices in reminding Americans that September is National Preparedness Month. Ready.gov is a great resource for teaching you how to prepare for a natural disaster.

What do they consider a disaster? Wildfires, flooding, thunderstorms & lightning, hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, landslides, severe weather, droughts and more. No matter where you live in the United States, you can be vulnerable to one or many natural disasters.

Ready.gov breaks down National Preparedness Month in four steps below.

Step 1 – Make a Plan

Step 2 – Build a Kit

Step 3 – Low-Cost, No Cost-Preparedness

Step 4 – Teach Youth about Preparedness

Every step is important in the event of a natural disaster and we encourage you to use this month to read through their information. You can read more here. Knowing information such as a shelter plan, evacuation route, communication plan or even having an emergency kit can be life-saving.

Proper Insurance & Natural Disasters

Having the right insurance coverage is essential if a natural disaster strikes. Many people assume that by purchasing home insurance, you are covered for anything and everything. This isn’t the case. By not having proper insurance coverage, countless people have been financially ruined.

First step with insurance, talk to your agent

Not only should you use this time with your agent to understand your current coverage, but talk about your risks. Should you purchase flood or earthquake insurance? If you were to experience an insurance claim, do you know how you will be compensated to repair or replace what has been damaged?

After talking with your agent, work on Step 2.

Step two includes creating your home inventory list, safely storing important documents and knowing exactly what to do if you experience a claim.

  1. Do you currently have a home inventory list? This is a list of your most important belongings. A home inventory list can be as simple as taking photos of every room in your house. Some individuals have an itemized list on a spreadsheet too. In the event you have an insurance claim, you can quickly reference your items in the event they need to be repaired or replaced.
  2. If you have an insurance claim, be sure to take pictures and videos of your damage. You will work with a claims adjuster so be sure to be timely with your response and save all receipts from purchases you have made regarding your claim. Examples – hotel receipts, meal receipts or other important items.
  3. Are your records safe? Records such as insurance documents, birth certificates, social security cards, marriage or divorce license, passport, pet ID tags, immunization records, medication lists, lease or rental agreement or mortgage or real estate deeds of trusts should all be safely stored in a water or fire proof box.

If you have questions about your current insurance coverage and would like to talk to a professional insurance agent, call us! We are experts in the insurance industry and can do a comprehensive review of your current coverage.