What good is insurance that is supposed to help with cybercrime? An investigation reaches mixed conclusions.

Typing on a screen.

Whoever is not careful and invests in security can quickly become a loser Photo: imago

SEDAN taz | Stolen data, blackmail with nude photos, a trafficker who takes money but doesn't deliver it: the Internet makes many types of crimes possible. The fear of this is also addressed by the insurance industry: it offers policies aimed at protecting people in such situations. But cyber insurance isn't necessarily worth it, according to a study by financial proofa magazine of Stiftung Warentest.

“The threat in cyberspace is greater than ever.” This is the conclusion reached by the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) in its latest report on computer security in Germany. The three biggest threats to people: identity theft, phishing to access bank accounts or accounts, and sextortion. In this scam, the victim is forced to show herself naked via video call and is then blackmailed with the corresponding images.

financial proof has now reviewed 20 policies aimed at protecting those affected by cybercrime. The differences are large: 5 of the policies included legal protection. If you want to cover the damages caused, the sum ranges between 3,000 and 20,000 euros per case.

Some insurance companies search the Internet for misused personal data of their customers and try to delete it. Others only take action if the policyholders themselves report suspicions of misuse of data or content that damages reputation. Prices also vary: those who want insurance will have to pay between 7 and 212 euros per year.

“If you pay attention to a few rules when you're online, you can get through life without cyber insurance,” says Michael Sittig of financial proof. The magazine recommends measures such as saving data, installing updates and using different passwords for different accounts. But, says Sittig: “The legal protection offered by some insurance companies is very useful, but regular legal protection insurance offers more comprehensive coverage.”

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