Getting hacked sucks. It’s even worse if you’re a digital creator whose social media accounts are literally paying your bills. When creators get hacked, it could mean they can’t post sponsored content, earn badge payments, or manage their Instagram stores — it’s grueling, like a chef broke their arm and had to cook with one hand.
The Israel-based startup Notch trying to see if insuring creators against Instagram hacks could provide a solution. Starting at $8 a month, creators can sign up for Notch’s Instagram account insurance, which means that if they get hacked and lose access to their account, the startup will pay them a stipend and help them regain control of their page.
gotechbusiness.com looked at an example insurance policy, which mentioned an annual fee of $459 (or about $38 per month) for insurance that pays out $244 for every day a creator is unable to access their account after a hack. These daily fees take effect after a 48-hour waiting period and are up to $22,000 (or 90 days) in payments per year.
Notch uses a number of metrics to determine the nature of a creator’s policy.
“We look at the number of followers, engagement, where the audience comes from, the industry the influencer works in, how many posts per month that person usually uploads, how many of those are sponsored posts…” explains CEO Rafael Broshi. With that information, Notch can estimate how much sponsored content a creator posts per month and how much money someone of his caliber would make from each post. Then the company can charge a monthly fee for coverage.
However, this isn’t an exact science – not all influencers are created equal, and the same level of followers or engagement may translate differently for different audiences. Plus, there’s no standardized base salary for a branded deal, so Notch may be over or underestimating a creator’s income.
An important feature of the policy is that it only covers hacks. Some creators, especially those from marginalized communities, face targeted harassment on Instagram, which sometimes means bad actors report their accounts en masse for no reason, resulting in them being banned or suspended. In these cases, whether a ban is justified or not, Notch will not cover a creator’s loss of income.
“We will likely release a policy supplement in the near future, which will also cover suspensions,” Broshi said. “We’re not currently covering those things, mainly because it’s very, very difficult to really build a product that offers value […] That’s why we went to the hacking section, where we think we can help.”
Notch isn’t affiliated with Instagram, but Broshi says this is normal for insurance companies.
“Car insurance companies usually have no connection whatsoever with the automaker,” he told gotechbusiness.com. Currently, the product is available in Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Tennessee and Texas – each state has different regulations regarding insurance products, so approval in each individual state will be a different process.
To qualify for these payouts, creators must enable multi-factor authentication (MFA). But there are many types of MFA and the policy does not provide more details. Some cybersecurity experts advise against using text messaging as a second layer of security, because a SIM-swapping hack (someone impersonating your phone company to take over your SIM card) could leave you powerless against fraudulent login attempts.
Aside from insurance policies, it’s always a good time to take extra steps to protect your online safety and digital privacy, especially if you’re someone whose income is directly linked to your internet presence. Notch doesn’t want you hacked because they have to pay you, but you also don’t want to get hacked because… it would suck. Speaking of which, don’t even try to fake a hack to get your daily payout – Notch’s contract forbids it.
To date, Notch has raised $7 million in an expanded seed round led by Lightspeed Ventures. Long-time creators like Nas Daily and Casey Neistat are also investors, which is an important vote of confidence for the company, as none of the founders have experience working in the maker economy. Of the three founders, Broshi is a former investor, CPO Elool Jacoby was a senior product manager at SimilarWeb and CTO Yuval Peled was a software engineer.
Notch only launched this month, so we haven’t seen how they can help a creator through a hack. But before the launch, Notch helped some creators with account retrieval, which is why there are testimonials on the company’s website.
As with any startup, you don’t want to be the guinea pig — but for big enough creators, a monthly payment can be worth the peace of mind.