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My data has been breached. What do I do?

At Hayes Connor Solicitors, we have considerable experience helping individuals whose data has been breached.

Each case is different, but as a first step we ask if you have reported the data breach to the Information Commissioner’s Office (the ICO). The ICO is the body which undertakes investigations on behalf of individuals into suspected data breaches. If found guilty, it is likely that they will take action against the company which committed the breach. And, at this stage, we often mount individual or groups actions against such organisations.

Find out more about making a data breach claim in our handy guide.

But, at Hayes Connor, we don’t just focus on compensation. In today’s digital world, your personal data is a valuable commodity. So, we want to do all we can to keep you, and your sensitive information as safe as possible.

So, if you have been the victim of a breach or cyber-attack, it is essential that you know your rights and how to protect yourself.

What to do immediately after a data breach

If you have suffered damage or distress caused by an organisation breaching any part of the Data Protection Act, you should:

  • Inform the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) about your concerns
  • Contact your bank and/or credit card providers immediately
  • Beware of fraudsters who attempt to gather personal information (phishing)
  • Report any suspected phishing attempts to the police and relevant authorities
  • Look out for any bills or emails showing goods or services you haven’t ordered, or any unfamiliar transactions on your account and alert your bank or card provider immediately if there is any suspicious activity
  • Keep an eye on your credit score for any unexpected dips. Call Credit, Experian and Equifax to ensure credit isn’t taken out in your name
  • Beware of any unsolicited communications that refer you to a web page asking for personal data
  • Register with a suitable fraud prevention service
  • Change your passwords.
  • If you are offered any form of compensation or free services from the organisation that put your data at risk it’s important to check the small print. Be careful that in accepting any offer you are not giving away your rights to pursue a separate data breach compensation claim at a later date.

What to do if you need support following a data breach

Victim Support is the leading independent victim’s charity in England and Wales for people affected by crime and traumatic incidents. Last year it offered support to nearly a million victims of crime across the UK.

Many people suffer anguish, anxiety and stress after a data breach and this can have a significant impact on you mentally and physically. Effects can include a lack of sleep, feeling ill, unsettled or confused. Stress can also affect your friends, your family and your job.

At Hayes Connor Solicitors, we are working with Victim Support to help those affected by cybercrime and data breaches. Ultimately, we want to ensure that victims have access to the support they need when they need it, as well as raising awareness of the threat to keep people safe online.

If you need support following a data breach or cybercrime, Victim Support is on hand just to support you.

Find out more about our partnership with Victim Support.

Making a data breach compensation claim

If you want to make a data breach compensation claim, contact Hayes Connor Solicitors. Our expert, online fraud and data protection solicitors will advise you on whether you have a valid claim and will be pleased to answer any questions you might have.

Our initial assessment is always free. We’ll ensure that you are fully informed on this matter and will notify you about the investigation and your legal rights when making a claim.

Organisations have a duty to protect your sensitive data. And letting other people access this is a complete failure of this responsibility. So, why shouldn’t you seek compensation for this inability to look after your information correctly if it has caused you financial harm or distress?