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Social Media Insurance — Should You Be Covered?

October 22, 2012

As you may have heard, social media insurance is now being offered in the UK for those wishing to protect their online identities and information. This has left many people wondering whether this is just a way to try to scare consumers into buying yet another type of insurance or if it’s the beginning of insurance products designed to address an ever-increasing need to monitor and control the information that we’re putting online.

In the event of a claim, the social media insurance currently being offered provides legal advice and support that will work to close hacked accounts, remove offensive material, provide “Reverse SEO” services for information that cannot be removed, and cover legal fees to protect you from lawsuits due to actions taken by anyone using your identity. The service is currently only offered in the UK, but will undoubtedly soon be available in the US.

As more people jump on the social media bandwagon, it becomes an increasingly prominent target for hacking, data theft, and identity theft. Nobody wants their personal data mined and sold, or to lose control of personal information, photos, or content, particularly in a time when our internet presence is replacing (or at least supplementing) our resume and professional credibility. However, with an increasing number of companies using social media and Cloud-based programs as a source of revenue, brand awareness, and data storage, the economic ramifications of such an attack could devastate a company or even affect an entire industry.

Social media insurance may be the next logical step in protecting your businesses reputation, data, and revenue stream. However, with the instantaneous nature of social media, can these types of measures adequately offset the potential harm of a web-based attack, or would the damage have already been done? This is a question we may all need to consider as we move further into a world that is increasingly web-based, and therefore increasingly exposed.

What do you think the value of social media insurance is? Leave us a comment and let us know your opinion.

Article by: April LaRita Green

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 20, 2012 3:47 am

    Social media insurance was perhaps an inevitable product given the burgeoning social media industry – and its growing importance to organisations. In my experience, the better first step is to advise clients to use social media monitoring technology to keep tabs on their online profile, assess the size and influence of their social media footprint, understand the sentiment (good, bad, indifferent) of online commentary – and to respond quickly to unjust, dishonest or ill-informed opinion on blogs, forums and other social media platforms. This will at least put the need for insurance into some context (monitoring and subtle social media intervention is extremely cost-effective but somewhat time-consuming) and will prepare organisations to understand exactly what is being offered by the insurance companies. Basically, companies – and individuals – need to actively engage in and understand the social media conversations that affect them. An insurance policy is no substitute for managing (as far as is possible) your own online presence.

    • November 20, 2012 7:45 am

      Thanks for the comment Shaun. I agree. It’s important that organizations monitor their own social media presence and be in a position to address negative feedback. Do you think social media insurance will create a false sense of security, causing people to become complacent about their own monitoring?

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