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Cybersecurity Tips To Protect Assets and Avoid Cyberattacks

By Stephen Quish, squish

Cybersecurity Tips for Massachusetts Residents

Are you looking to take your cyber skills to the next level? Whether you are looking to protect yourself or your business in Massachusetts, with the following tips you can learn and incorporate some of the basics of cybersecurity. These tips can help minimize risk of cyberattacks keeping you and your business cyber safe regardless of where you are in Massachusetts.

What is Cybersecurity?

Cybersecurity is defined as the practice of protecting networks, devices, and data from unlawful access or criminal use, and providing confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information. As having your personal information stored either on your computer, smartphone, or tablet is becoming increasingly more common, knowing how to protect your information against cyberattacks is important, and not just for individuals, but for businesses too. The average time spent per day online is continuing to grow, which means the opportunities for cyber criminals to attempt to steal your information is also growing. Making the internet safe and secure requires a group effort, it requires all of us to take responsibility for our own cybersecurity behavior.

Potential Cybersecurity Threats to Watch For

There are various methods used by hackers and thieves to try and steal your information online, below are some of theircybersecurity, cyberattack Cross Insurance, Newburyport various methods. In hopes to prevent an attack knowing what to look out for and be alerted to is vital in preparation of cyberattacks.

Malware

Both computers and the information that they contain can be damaged, regardless of if used at home or work. This damage can result from malicious code (also known as malware), a malicious program. Malware can present itself in a variety of forms, such as a virus, a worm, or a Trojan horse. Hackers, intruders, and attackers use these techniques to make money off software flaws.

Identity Theft and Scams

Identity theft and scams are one of the more common cyberattacks. These methods used by cyber criminals can even victimize those who never use computers. There are several ways criminals can access your information, including overhearing a phone call, finding information in your trash, stealing your wallet, or picking up a receipt that contains personal information.

Phishing

The common cyberattack known as “phishing” uses emails, texts, and malicious websites that appear to be a trusted organization, such as charity organizations or online stores, to obtain user personal information. This attack is more commonly used as a cyberattack against businesses and organizations to attempt to steal sensitive information.

Preventing Cyberattacks

It takes seconds for a cyberattack to take place, in fact according to a study at the University of Maryland there is a cyberattack every 39 seconds. Knowing how to avoid and prevent these attacks is vital to the safety and security of your Massachusetts based information. The following are some basic cybersecurity tips that you can use to stay cyber safe.

Think Before You Click

Cross Insurance Cybersecurity Lock with Encryption, NewburyportRecognizing and reporting phishing attempts can help to deter other cyberattacks to those within your organization. If a link looks suspicious, think before you click. Hover over a link to view the address in order to avoid accidentally being sent to a malicious destination.

Update Your Software Regularly

Updating your software when you see a notification can help to combat attacks, acting promptly can better your chances to avoid being susceptible to attack attempts. Another useful cybersecurity tip is to turn on automatic updates.

Strong Password Usage

Having a strong password can slow down cyber criminals trying to hack into computers and accounts containing important information. It is recommended to use passwords that are long, unique, and randomly generated. A password manager can be used to generate and remember different, complex passwords for each of your accounts. As well a password manager will encrypt passwords and secure them for you.

Multi-Factor Authentication

As an individual or business, the use of multi-factor authentication is an important tool that should be considered. Unique passwords are a great way to protect your online accounts, although enabling MFA (Multi-Factor Authentication) can make you significantly less likely to get hacked.

Recap

Although these cyber safety tips can be implemented to help protect you and your business in Massachusetts, they won’t be effective unless they are consistently utilized and practiced. In an attempt to make the internet a safer place, educating you and those around you can assist in this effort. Stay diligent by implementing strong cybersecurity practices and if you own a business, you may want to explore cyber insurance options.

 

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This article is for general informational purposes only and is not to be relied upon or used for any particular purpose. Cross Insurance shall not be held responsible in any way for, and specifically disclaims any liability arising out of or in any way connected to, reliance on or use of any of the information contained in this article. The information contained or referenced in this article is not intended to constitute and should not be considered legal, insurance, accounting or other professional advice, nor shall it serve as a substitute for the recipient obtaining such advice. The views expressed in this article are that of its author and do not necessarily represent the views of Cross Financial Corp. and its subsidiaries and affiliates (“Cross Insurance”) or Cross Insurance’s management or shareholders.

 

What To Do Before and After Moving to a New Home in MA

By Laura Bentley, Newburyport.Com Correspondent
Owner of Newburyport.Com, Laura manages Business Development, Fundraising, the VIP Program, Blogging and the Events Calendar.

Are You Moving to a New Home in Massachusetts?

Moving to a new home can be an exciting and stressful time. Whether you are downsizing, moving closer to family, or looking for a new adventure in Massachusetts, there is a lot to do when it comes to an address change. Along with packing and unpacking, there are numerous other tasks that need to be  completed to ensure a smooth transition into your home. For example, budgeting for a new mortgage payment and shopping for a moving company, are all things to keep on your radar as you transition into your new Massachusetts home.

Before Moving to Your New Home

Before you start looking into home listings on the web or talking with a local real estate agent, you need to know what you can afford. Receiving pre-approval will give you a budget, this way you won’t be wasting time looking at homes outside of your price range. There are various factors that can factor into the amount you are pre-approved for, but typically these factors include your credit score, income, and assets. Going through the pre-approval process can take some time but is one of the first and most important steps in the moving process.

Budget for Monthly Expenses

Budgeting for monthly expenses can be tedious, but typically doing so can help you avoid surprises in the future. In addition to a monthly mortgage payment, you will need to calculate for taxes, insurance, and utility payments. It’s important to keep in mind any appliances and furniture you will need to have before moving to your new home in order to budget for items that could require costly investment as well. Regardless of your monthly expenses it is a good idea to have an emergency fund for unexpected costs, setting aside funds for expenses such as plumbing, electrical, or structural issues.

Connect with a Local Massachusetts Insurance Agent

Generally, you will need to provide proof at the closing of your home that you have paid the first year of premiums on your homeowners insurance. Connecting with a local insurance agent early on is a smart move in gathering and compiling this proof. At Cross Insurance we are an independent insurance broker, able to work with trusted insurance companies, giving you coverage options for home insurance. With a local office in Newburyport, a local insurance agent is only a call away.

Make a Plan for Moving to Your New Home

If you plan on hiring a company to handle the bulk of the work that is required when moving, acquiring recommendations from friends, family, and neighbors on trusted companies can make the process even easier. As well, reaching out early to get quotes can help your planning and your wallet. On the other hand, if you plan on moving to your new home yourself, prepare by collecting boxes, totes, and packing materials early on so you are not without the necessary materials when the time comes. Planning in advance for large pieces of furniture, including measuring doorways in your new home to see if it can be maneuvered to the place you are planning to place it, can help you decide if the furniture will make the journey with you.

Deep Clean Your New Massachusetts Home

Unboxing the cleaning supplies may not be your first thought when arriving at your new home, but pulling out a mop bucket and vacuum can start off your new adventure the cleanest way. First, cleaning will be much easier before bigger, hard to move furniture is placed in multiple rooms. Second, if painting is on the to do list, then you’ll need a clean, dry surface to start with. Third, deep cleaning will give you a closer look at your entire house, and you may find some areas that need to be repaired.

Update Your Locks

It’s a good security practice to replace and update your locks after moving into a new home. This is recommended as you never know how many copies the previous owners had, or who they might have given copies to. While on the topic of locks and keys, it is useful to make a plan for what you would do if you were locked out of your new home.

Update Your Address

Once you are settled into your new Massachusetts home it is important to notify your local post office, utility companies, and tax agencies of your new address. Also, informing your employer, in case they need to send documents and other forms to the correct place, is an important reason to notify them of your new address. Be sure to log in to your various online shopping accounts to update your addresses to avoid lost packages.

 

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This article is for general informational purposes only and is not to be relied upon or used for any particular purpose. Cross Insurance shall not be held responsible in any way for, and specifically disclaims any liability arising out of or in any way connected to, reliance on or use of any of the information contained in this article. The information contained or referenced in this article is not intended to constitute and should not be considered legal, insurance, accounting or other professional advice, nor shall it serve as a substitute for the recipient obtaining such advice. The views expressed in this article are that of its author and do not necessarily represent the views of Cross Financial Corp. and its subsidiaries and affiliates (“Cross Insurance”) or Cross Insurance’s management or shareholders.

 

Antique Auto Insurance – Classic Car Coverage and Peace of Mind

By Hannah Brown, Newburyport.Com Correspondent, Regional Sales Executive, Personal Lines
I’ve worked in the insurance business for over 15 years and held many different positions within the industry. Working for Cross Insurance has afforded me the resources to put my knowledge to use within the community. What drew me to Cross Insurance was the ability to help people with any insurance need they may have, while still maintaining the feel and service of a small agency. I want to fully protect my clients but also educate them about the coverage we provide. It’s important to me that they feel a part of the process. At the heart of it all, Cross is a family owned business who values hard work and relationships. We look forward to not only helping people in the area protect the things that are most valuable to them, but also to exploring and supporting our new community.
Cross Insurance
antique auto insurance, classic car coverage Newburyport, MA

Antique Auto Insurance for Classic Cars in Newburyport, MA

If you have an antique or classic car and live in the vibrant city of Newburyport, it’s time to start thinking about getting your car ready to hit the road. What is more picturesque than an antique auto parked by the coast? In this article you can find information about what types of classic car coverage there are, what conditions and/or requirements may need to be followed as part of an antique auto insurance policy, when you should have coverage, and some other considerations you may want to keep in mind when looking for insurance for your custom or antique vehicle.

What does Antique Auto Insurance Typically Cover?

While the uses of your classic car and daily driver differ greatly, the basic coverages available for both are quite similar. Depending on your needs and wants, the following are some of the typical areas of coverage that are included in antique auto insurance.

  • Bodily injury liability
  • Property damage liability
  • Comprehensive insurance
  • Collision insurance
  • Medical Payments
  • Uninsured motorist coverage
  • Underinsured motorist coverage

Antique Auto Insurance Quotes for Newburyport

Your classic car is not just a machine that you have spent hours caring for and restoring, but it is a piece of your history, something that mayCruisin the 50's Car Show Antique Auto State Street North hold sentimental value to you. Your antique auto may also be an investment that you want to protect and care for. Cross Insurance can help you explore your options when it comes to classic car coverage.  To find out more, contact your local Newburyport Cross Insurance today.

Classic Car Coverage Options

There are several additional coverage options that are typically optional when searching for antique auto insurance. These may include agreed value, tiered mileage plans, spare parts coverage, worldwide coverage, multiline discounts, and auto show medical. Below we will outline each coverage.

  • Agreed Value

Agreed Value is the amount that you and your insurer agree your vehicle is worth when you purchase your insurance policy.

  • Car Show Coverage

Is there a car show happening in Newburyport you are looking forward to attending? Car show coverage can help provide protection in the event that someone is injured by your vehicle while it is at an automobile show or exhibit.

  • Parts Coverage

Having classic car parts coverage can help provide you with monetary assistance when a qualifying event occurs and your vehicle’s parts are destroyed, damaged, or stolen.

  • Tiered Mileage

Depending on how much you drive your antique auto, you could potentially benefit from lower or tiered mileage plans. Agreeing to limit the number of miles you put on your classic car every year can potentially help your rates.

  • Worldwide Coverage

If you plan on traveling out of Newburyport and out of the country for shows or events with your vehicle, you should seriously consider worldwide coverage. Your general auto policy is usually restricted to inside the U.S., resulting in a need for this coverage if you plan on taking your classic car outside of the country.

Should I Keep My Antique Auto Covered Throughout the Year?

Cruisin the 50's Car Show Antique Auto State Street NorthIf you’re in Newburyport you may just drive your car during the summer season, but just because you don’t drive your vehicle during the winter months doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep your antique auto insurance throughout the year. Although your antique or classic car may be stored safely away while not in use, there is always the possibility of an unfortunate event such as fire, theft, or an “act of God” occurring. Taking your coverage off your ride can leave you vulnerable, and there is sometimes a misconception that your homeowners policy will cover a vehicle stored in your garage. In fact, homeowners insurance typically will exclude coverage for motorized vehicles meant for the road.

What category does my vehicle fall under?

In car culture, there are various ways to describe and categorize your ride. Someone from Newburyport, MA may call their vehicle one thing, while another in DeLand, FL may call it something different. No matter what category your ride may fall under, if your vehicle fits one of these descriptions you should contact Cross Insurance Agency in Newburyport to see what classic car coverage options may be available.

  • Antique and Classic Cars (Typically 25 years and older)
  • Hot Rods or Modified Vehicles
  • Classic Military Vehicles
  • High-End Exotic Cars
  • Collector Trucks, SUVs, and Tractors

Qualifications for Antique Auto Coverage

There are various conditions and/or requirements that may be required by insurance carriers for your vehicle to be considered for classic car coverage. Some of the typical carrier requirements include (but are not necessarily limited to):

  • The vehicle may need to be stored in an enclosed structure, carport, parking garage, or storage unit.
  • You as the driver may need to meet eligibility requirements, such as not having any serious traffic infractions (such as alcohol related offenses, reckless driving, or outstanding speed violations) on your record.
  • The vehicle may need to meet age requirements, for example being 25 years or older or 20 years old with collectible value.
  • The permissible use of the vehicle may be limited, such as use only for exhibitions or pleasure/leisure activities and not as your primary mode of transportation.
  • You may not be able to use the vehicle for racing.
  • The annual on-road mileage may be limited.

How to Save on Antique Auto Insurance

One way to save on insurance for your classic car is by bundling it with another policy. Many insurance carriers will offer discounts for having more than one policy through them. For more information on our motorcycle, boat, and other bundling options, click here.

Comparing quotes from different insurance carriers, like the ones we work with, can be another way to save on antique auto insurance.

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This article is for general informational purposes only and is not to be relied upon or used for any particular purpose. Cross Insurance shall not be held responsible in any way for, and specifically disclaims any liability arising out of or in any way connected to, reliance on or use of any of the information contained in this article. The information contained or referenced in this article is not intended to constitute and should not be considered legal, insurance, accounting or other professional advice, nor shall it serve as a substitute for the recipient obtaining such advice. The views expressed in this article are that of its author and do not necessarily represent the views of Cross Financial Corp. and its subsidiaries and affiliates (“Cross Insurance”) or Cross Insurance’s management or shareholders.

Personal Watercraft Insurance – Information You Should Know

By Hannah Brown, Newburyport.Com Correspondent, Regional Sales Executive, Personal Lines
I’ve worked in the insurance business for over 15 years and held many different positions within the industry. Working for Cross Insurance has afforded me the resources to put my knowledge to use within the community. What drew me to Cross Insurance was the ability to help people with any insurance need they may have, while still maintaining the feel and service of a small agency. I want to fully protect my clients but also educate them about the coverage we provide. It’s important to me that they feel a part of the process. At the heart of it all, Cross is a family owned business who values hard work and relationships. We look forward to not only helping people in the area protect the things that are most valuable to them, but also to exploring and supporting our new community.
Cross Insurance
Personal Watercraft Insurance, Newburyport, MA WaveRunner

Personal Watercraft Insurance for Newburyport, MA

With Newburyport, MA being a coastal city, there is plenty of opportunity to have fun on the water. In preparation of using your personal watercraft, you should ensure you have appropriate insurance.

What is Considered a Personal Watercraft?

A Personal Watercraft (PWC) is, generally speaking, a small recreational watercraft that is usually powered primarily by a water jet pump with the operator standing, kneeling or sitting on top of the watercraft (as opposed to sitting or standing inside the watercraft, such as with a boat). PWC are often referred to by the brand name that produced them. For instance, the names Jet Ski, WaveRunner, and Sea-Doo are regularly used interchangeably with personal watercraft, even though these are names of models produced by various companies. Boating machines, including PWC, are generally classified into four main groups, all based on their length in feet from bow to stern, not including the engine components.

Class A: 16 feet or less

Class 1: 16-26 feet

Class 2: 26-40 feet

Class 3: 40 feet and over

With the average personal watercraft having the length of nearly 11 feet, the normal personal watercraft owner can usually expect their machine to be classified under Class A.

How Much is Insurance for Personal Watercrafts?

Similar to other motorized vehicles, like car, motorcycle, ATV, RV, snowmobile, and boat insurance policies, personal watercraft insurance pricing may vary depending on a variety of factors. To help prepare you for getting your PWC insurance quote, here are some elements that may affect your rate.

  • The make and model of your personal watercraft is an important part of how much you will pay. A newer and typically faster model will typically affect your policy more than an older machine.
  • Where will you ride your PWC? If you’re riding in Newburyport, this may affect your quote as there are different laws and regulations that riders must follow in Massachusetts compared to others. Also, if you will be using your PWC in Newburyport, which is considered a coastal city, your quote may differ as compared to an individual who regularly rides on inland waters.
  • The age of the driver will also affect your quote. Just as with regular car insurance, the younger the driver the more expensive the quote may be.
  • Are you riding alone or with a friend? Having passengers accompany you on rides, or alternatively riding solo, will either increase or decrease the liability at hand.
  • Professionally installing safety equipment to your watercraft such as a “kill” cord, GPS, depth finder, radar technology, etc., and wearing the suggested safety gear like a life jacket and goggles can potentially help you save.
  • What is the top speed of your PWC? Some insurers will refuse to insure a vessel that may be deemed “too fast,” while some may give a discount to those with a top speed in a certain range.

Personal Watercraft Insurance Quotes for Newburyport

If you are looking to save on insurance for your personal watercraft in Newburyport, one way to do this is by comparing numerous Personal Watercraft Insurance, Newburyport, MA WaveRunner Adventures insurance quotes to see what ways you can potentially save. While many websites may show an average price for an insurance company, what you may end up paying could be drastically different. Requesting a custom quote for your personal watercraft insurance is a great place to start when it comes to comparing coverages and saving. Contact your local Newburyport Cross Insurance Agency to connect with one of our insurance agents to start the process today.

What Generally is and isn’t covered in a PWC Policy?

Typically, personal watercraft policies will cover a few basic areas, these being bodily injury, property damage, and medical payments. Policies also tend to include liability coverage. Liability can help provide financial assistance in the event you are found liable in an accident if the accident is deemed coverable. Some examples of situations that may potentially be covered, depending on the coverages you select, are:

  • Damage is inflicted to another individual’s PWC, boat, dock, or personal belongings due to the negligent use of your PWC
  • Injury or death to another individual due to your negligent operation of your machine
  • Negligence of someone driving your PWC
  • Select damage to your watercraft
  • Injury to you caused by an uninsured watercraft operator
  • Injury to individuals towed behind your watercraft

What isn’t included in a PWC policy? To understand your policy and exactly what is and isn’t covered, you should carefully read your entire policy. Your local Newburyport agent may also be able to help answer certain questions that you may have. The following are just a few non-exhaustive examples of what may not be covered:

  • A watercraft that has been upgraded or modified to increase speed and performance
  • Operating your PWC during unauthorized times, such as after dark and before sunrise
  • Losses that occur as the result of racing your PWC

Coverage areas to inquire about

When talking to your Newburyport agent, you might want to inquire about specific areas of your policy. The following are some coverage options explore further with your Cross Insurance agent.

  • Will your policy cover the replacement cost of personal items that are lost or damaged while using your PWC?
  • Will your policy replace the actual cash value of your PWC if it is damaged while using it?
  • Does your policy include roadside assistance for either your towing vehicle or trailer if they are damaged?
  • Does your policy include towing assistance if you break down on the water?

Does My Homeowners Policy Cover My PWC??

Relying solely on your homeowners insurance to help protect you and your watercraft may potentially leave you with less coverage thanPersonal Watercraft Insurance - Cross Insurance Policy for Jetski, Newburyport, MA you might have with a dedicated PWC policy. A homeowners policy usually only provides limited coverage for your personal watercraft. A PWC policy specifically for your watercraft is typically the favorable option, as this usually provides broader coverage and higher coverage amounts, and can sometimes be more tailored to meet your needs. Below is what homeowners insurance can potentially help insure in certain situations.

Fire: Depending on the circumstances, if your watercraft catches fire your homeowners insurance could potentially cover a limited amount of the repair or replacement costs.

Natural Events: Also known as an “Act of God,” damage to your PWC caused by events such as hurricanes, hail, wind, and other covered weather events may potentially qualify for some limited coverage under your homeowners insurance.

Theft & Vandalism: If your watercraft is stolen from your home or vandalized during a break in, this could potentially qualify for some limited coverage under your homeowners insurance.

Falling Objects: In the event something falls in your basement, garage, or wherever you store your personal watercraft, and it causes damage to your PWC, homeowners insurance may help cover a limited amount of the expenses to fix it.

About Cross Insurance Newburyport

The Newburyport, Massachusetts branch is one of the newest Cross Insurance locations to open. With a newly renovated office space conveniently located in the East Shops of the Port Plaza and accessible by major highways, our office is ready to help provide you with options for quality insurance products at competitive prices.

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This article is for general informational purposes only and is not to be relied upon or used for any particular purpose. Cross Insurance shall not be held responsible in any way for, and specifically disclaims any liability arising out of or in any way connected to, reliance on or use of any of the information contained in this article. The information contained or referenced in this article is not intended to constitute and should not be considered legal, insurance, accounting or other professional advice, nor shall it serve as a substitute for the recipient obtaining such advice. The views expressed in this article are that of its author and do not necessarily represent the views of Cross Financial Corp. and its subsidiaries and affiliates (“Cross Insurance”) or Cross Insurance’s management or shareholders.

 

Boat Insurance in MA – Information Boat Owners Should Know

By Hannah Brown, Newburyport.Com Correspondent, Regional Sales Executive, Personal Lines
I’ve worked in the insurance business for over 15 years and held many different positions within the industry. Working for Cross Insurance has afforded me the resources to put my knowledge to use within the community. What drew me to Cross Insurance was the ability to help people with any insurance need they may have, while still maintaining the feel and service of a small agency. I want to fully protect my clients but also educate them about the coverage we provide. It’s important to me that they feel a part of the process. At the heart of it all, Cross is a family owned business who values hard work and relationships. We look forward to not only helping people in the area protect the things that are most valuable to them, but also to exploring and supporting our new community.
Cross Insurance
Boat Insurance, Cross Insurance Newburyport

Protecting You Out on the Water
While boat insurance may be the last thing on your mind when you are out on the water, having your boat covered not only gives you peace of mind, but can provide you with a financial safety net for things like injuries or theft. Whether it’s sailing, fishing, or speeding along, boating is a wonderful way to experience the beautiful lakes, rivers, and bays of Massachusetts.

What Can Boat Insurance Cover?
Coverage for physical damage to a boat is one of the most obvious reasons to have a policy. However, liability can be an even more important reason to consider having boat insurance. In fact, many private marinas and docks may also ask you for proof of insurance before they let you dock your boat at their property. It is also important to be prepared for the unexpected such as hurricanes, theft or vandalism.

Does My Homeowners Policy Cover My Boat?
You may be thinking- wait, does my homeowners insurance policy cover my boat as well? In most instances, home insurance policies do not provide adequate coverage to protect your boat. To see what coverages you may need, reach out to a local insurance agent. Cross Insurance- Newburyport is conveniently located in the Port Plaza Shopping Center.

Boat Insurance Quotes

It is important to meet with an experienced insurance agent who can help recommend the right solution based on your specific circumstances. Boat insurance coverage will depend on the type of boat you have, the value of the boat and a number of other factors as well. Cross Insurance- Newburyport offers a broad scope of insurance products. Cross is an independent insurance agency, and can help recommend the best insurance carrier to meet your needs. Policy discounts may be available if the insurance carrier is providing coverage for more than one policy. Let a local agent from the Newburyport Cross Insurance team help navigate the process.