Cyber for Plan Sponsors

Digital Identity: Protection Advice


With clues to our identities now easily available all around the digital space, we are making it easier for cybercriminals to locate, us, figure out our passwords, and dig into our contact data too. Share safety advice with employees, plan participants—and everyone on your contact list.

Continuous Change

Our participation in the digital universe continues evolving.  There is a steady flow of new apps, improvements to old ones and faster ways to get work done and connect with colleagues. Every week also brings new ways to have fun and enjoy interacting with families and friends online. With our personal and professional lives intertwining more and more, our digital identities also become more fully available to cyber criminals. As The New York Times cautions:

Remember when you shared your address book with that trendy new app? Or when you posted photos on social networks? Those actions may all pose consequences that weaken security for ourselves and the people we care about.

 Vijay Balasubramaniyan, the chief executive of Pindrop, a security firm that develops technology to detect fraudulent phone calls, said we should always remember that any piece of our identity we post online could eventually be used by fraudsters to hijack our online accounts.

 “Your digital identity, which comprises all your pictures, videos and audio, is going to fundamentally allow hackers to create a complete persona of you that looks exactly like you, without you being in the picture,” he said.

Digital Identity

It’s easy—and scary—to picture how the ready availability of our digital identities contributes to cyber breach risks for retirement accounts. Access to personal data and money make retirement accounts exceptionally lucrative targets for cyber crimes—with small businesses facing particular risks. Since we obviously can’t all just swear off the technology, it’s important to educate ourselves, our employees, and plan participants about practices that will help us have “safer digital lives.” The New York Times suggests these five commandments:


  • Thou Shalt Not Use Weak Passwords
  • Use Multifactor Authentication
  • Thou Shalt Not Overshare
  • Thou Shalt Not Share Data About Friends
  • Remember to Stay Skeptical

 Currently, at least 45% of us are using weak passwords—and most of us are reusing them. We are advised to use password managers, and long, complex passwords.Even with good password habits, hackers can still gain access to accounts—which is why multifactor authentication is so important. In fact, experts advise that we no longer work with any companies or service providers who are not using multifactor authentication to verify identity. It is also suggested that until we specifically want to record the location of a particular photo, it is best to leave the “location off” option activated on our devices. After all, location is an important piece of identity, right? Similarly, be careful about the “access contacts” feature in many apps-do you really want to randomly share the addresses and phone numbers of family and friends? A healthy dose of skepticism goes a long way in securing our digital lives—and our real-life assets.

Get Help

Small businesses don’t have to go it alone in the face of increasing cyber threats. Let Colonial Surety Company help. Armed with Colonial’s Cyber Liability Protection, in the event of a cyber breach, expert forensic and legal experts will identify what’s been comprised and coordinate the response. As needed, call-center support, credit, and identity monitoring services, and even public relations expertise are provided. Liability protection in the event of covered lawsuits or regulatory actions due to a data breach? Of course, that’s included too.

Designed especially for retirement plan sponsors, Colonial’s packages include:


  • The required ERISA bond which protects the assets of the retirement plan from theft; 


  • Fiduciary Liability coverage to protect you and your assets from personal liability; and,


  • Cyber Liability coverage to safeguard your company and plan from covered losses and expenses in the event of a cyber breach.


With Colonial, you can easily and affordably secure this coverage. Just choose your Complete Protection Package Now.

Colonial Surety Company is rated “A Excellent” by A.M. Best Company, U.S. Treasury listed and in business all across the country.