Peter Stevenson is director of infocusinsurance.co.uk
, a business that specialises in insuring photographers; from amateurs, to semi pros to professionals. He has noticed a growing number of enquiries from photographers troubled by online dangers. Here he warns photographers of the increasing risk of cyber related problems...
Research conducted by Hiscox revealed only twenty two per cent of SMEs are concerned about e-risks and cyber crime.* If you’re a photographer you should fall into this twenty two per cent. Photographers are particularly vulnerable to e-risks despite high profile online copyright cases like we saw with The Daily Mail being accused of lifting Flickr images without the photographer’s knowledge or authorisation.
E-risks can include viruses and spamming programmes damaging websites, hacker attacks, confidential data loss and online identity fraud. It’s vital photographers check their policy to see if it covers claims for computer damage, misleading pricing issues, slander and sexual harassment on email and legal costs in copyright cases.
When the damage has been done
Protecting a photography business from crime is about much more than door locks and security alarms. E-risks are an increasing concern but often when it is too late and the damage has been done. Data in some professions can easily be retrieved but wedding days are different!
Worryingly, when taking out policies photographers check their offices and equipment are covered from potential theft but aren’t considering e-risks which are not covered by traditional insurance policies.
If internet use is essential for your business it’s vital you check your business policy covers e-risks. It can also benefit photographers as it covers infringement of someone else’s trademark or copyright online too. Being fully insured can get your business up and running quickly in the event of a successful cyber attack.
Photographers must also remember, running an enterprise is a full-time activity and IT expertise is rarely a specialisation. If you do not have in-house or comprehensive remote technical expertise, seek professional advice on security.
All businesses using the internet could be targeted as criminals are increasingly turning to cyber crime to defraud companies. Practicing good online security such as updating antivirus software, having regular backups and changing passwords is just the starting point. Make sure you don’t caught out with cyber crime carelessness.
* Research of 1,000 SME owners was carried out on behalf of Hiscox by RedShift in 23 November to 5th December 2010