As people become more connected through smartphone and social media, the importance of protecting digital identity becomes more important.
According to statistics from Gitnux, which were published in its Social Media Hacking Statistics 2023 guide earlier this year (13 June 2023), cybercrime on social media platforms accounts for $3.25bn (£2.6bn) in lost global revenue annually.
And about 64% of companies have experienced social media-related incidents such as hacking and fraud, according to the Software and Digital Services Directory.
With this issue in mind, insurtech Wallife Group has announced plans to offer its policies to tackle digital identity theft in the UK on London Tech Week earlier this month (June 12-14).
The company, which is based in Italy, provides a digital identity theft insurance product called Wallife Biometrics ID that protects an individual’s identity against cyber threats, such as hacking an Instagram account through someone’s smartphone.
It also provides coverage for financial savings in the event of a user’s smartphone banking app, digital payment method or email account being hacked.
It does this by reducing the risk of personal data being stolen from a smartphone through its app.
Speaking of Insurance timesWallife CEO Maria Enrique Angelone says: “We launched a legal entity at the end of 2022. We want to bring new products to the UK market because it is open to innovation.
“We see this as an opportunity to address cyber risk from a consumer perspective. We also hope to learn from this geography and understand other types of risks.
As part of the move to launch its policies in the UK, insurtech is also applying for an MGA license – it already has an MGA license in the Italian insurance market.
Waliffe was founded in 2020 by Fabio Sbianchi and has since raised over $15m (£12m) from investors including United Ventures.
Insurtech says it saw a gap in the market for its policies because it believes there are no insurance products to date that protect consumers from social media accounts, emails or financial accounts being hacked.
However, Angelone notes that new technologies come with “imperfections”—for example, she points out that when the car was invented, so was the car accident.
She says it’s something that can’t be fixed because it “is part of the technology itself.”
Angelone continues, “We wanted to stay focused on investigating these emerging risks that come with new technologies to support adoption.
“People can feel more comfortable adopting new technologies because they come with IP attached [Internet Protocol] Protection.”
However, as fast as technology is evolving, online fraud and threats are also becoming more sophisticated.
Gitnux predicts that social media users are expected to increase by 10% to 257 million by the end of 2023, which means more potential targets for hackers.
And statistics from its 2023 guide revealed that 70% of hacked victims were blocked from their accounts, while hackers contacted 71%’s friends.
One of the ways Wallife keeps up with emerging risks and new technologies is through its young advisory board, which consists of 12 people between the ages of 18 and 25.
Angelone says that “each age uses different technologies – and therefore faces different risks.”
She also adds that there is a big jump in [cyber criminals] trying to attack individuals, “especially since most people now work remotely.”
As such, Insurtech also uses gamification to educate users in its app by asking them about digital protection with rewards for correct answers.
Angelone adds, “That’s the beauty of this mission, it’s a combination of technology and insurance — you need both expertise, and that’s why we started building our solution.”