Cybercrime has been booming for several years now. Since the beginning of the COVID crisis, an important part of life takes place online, making people more vulnerable for cases of cyberbullying, identity and data theft.
True to the company’s social commitments, Proximus is aiming to help Belgian consumers become better prepared to combat the phenomenon and also to boost their confidence in digital services. This is why, after a testing phase which has been going on since the start of 2021, Proximus is launching its Cyber Care product, in partnership with AXA Partners, and thus becomes the first operator to launch an insurance policy offering technical, legal, financial and psychological support in the event of any cybercrime-related wrongdoing onto the Belgian market.
Teleworking, home schooling, e-commerce, online administrative services, making medical appointments online, etc. mean that our lives are becoming increasingly digital. Although this evolution can bring enormous benefits, there are also dangers attached to it, because cybercrime has now become the fastest-growing type of criminal activity in Belgium, with examples including cyberbullying as well as identity and data theft.
The figures speak for themselves, as it is estimated that one online purchaser out of ten has fallen victim to some kind of fraud, whereas 25% of young people may have had to face up to online bullying – and things have only got worse since the COVID crisis began. To give you some idea, it is estimated that seven times more cases of bank fraud were reported in 2020 than in the previous few years.
Given this disturbing rise in cybercrime, it is obviously important to focus on prevention and to encourage people to remain alert, while at the same time investing in a good antivirus program although, unfortunately, that is not always enough. Nowadays there are some frauds so sophisticated that even the most experienced digital users may fall victim to them.
This is why it is so important to allow consumers to take out insurance and protect themselves against the effects of cybercrime. It is also why Proximus has decided to team up with AXA Partners to launch, as first Belgian operator, an insurance policy that helps the entire family face cyber risks: Cyber Care. After a successfully completed testing phase, where the potential of the solution and the interest among customers were evaluated, the product is now ready to be developed at broader scale.
Support in the event of online fraud, bullying or defamation
So what is it actually all about? For 4.99 euros per month, Cyber Care offers all family members living under the same roof 24/7 assistance, including technical, legal, financial, and psychological support, if they notice any suspicious online behaviour or fall victim to fraud.
For instance, if a consumer is concerned that his or her identity or personal data may have been used for fraudulent purposes, s/he can call on Cyber Care staff for legal assistance – and even psychological support if necessary. The insurance policy also covers bad experiences with online shopping such as the non-delivery or incorrect delivery of an order. In this case, a total of up to 5,000 euros can be refunded. Here is another example: the product launched by Proximus and AXA covers cases of online harassment and defamation. In this case, Cyber Care will allow anyone who is affected to obtain not only legal and psychological support, but also technical assistance, so that they can try to have any defamatory posts – whether they are photos or texts – taken down.
“We want to bring to our customers all the exciting opportunities the digital world offers. At the same time, we also know that this comes with some challenges as well. Unfortunately, we may all find ourselves falling victim to cybercrime one of these days. This is something which frightens a lot of people and it can really hold them back in their digital lives. So I’m delighted that Proximus and AXA Partners are launching this innovative product, because it’ll help to increase the level of consumer confidence and offer real peace of mind, whilst at the same time offering people genuine legal, financial, psychological and technical protection against different forms of cybercrime. The launch of Cyber Care is part of Proximus’s commitment to creating a safer, more responsible digital world,” said, Jim Casteele, Chief Consumer Market Officer, Proximus.
Christophe Marius, CEO AXA Partners Northern Europe, commented,
“The AXA Future Risk Report 2021 indicates that both experts and the public consider cyber risks as the second most important risk to our society. Our annual cyber barometer, as well as many other media and studies, also highlight the significant negative impact of various pitfalls related to digital solutions. To help people avoid these dangers or to provide immediate support when they encounter problems, we need to work together and join forces. That’s why I’m very pleased that AXA Partners and Proximus are working together to better protect consumers and users of digital solutions in a context of increasingly massive use of them.”