How do you know if your data has been leaked?
We all know how important it is to keep our personal data secure. But what happens if an organisation makes a mistake which results in your information being compromised? And how do you know if that has happened?
If your data has been exposed in a breach, the potential consequences can be extremely serious. So, it goes without saying that it is important to recognise when your data may have been compromised as a result of negligence, human error, or cybercrime. This can help to reduce the potential impact on you and your loved ones.
In this article, we will discuss some of the ways you can recognise if your data has been leaked, as well as the steps you should be taking where such an incident has already occurred.
More specifically, we’ll be exploring:
- How to know if your data has been leaked
- What are the potential consequences of a data leak?
- What compensation can you secure for a data leak?
- What to do if your data is leaked
- How Hayes Connor can help you if your data has been leaked
If you already know that your data has been breached, or you have reason to believe that this is the case, you can speak to our data protection breach solicitors on 0330 041 5137 or fill out our online claim form to start the claims process.
How to know if your data has been leaked
There are a number of ways in which you may be able to tell whether your data has been leaked. These include, but are not limited to:
- Direct correspondence from the responsible organisation
- Notification from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO)
- Third party tools
- Individual monitoring
Direct correspondence from the responsible organisation
If an organisation has suffered a data breach, resulting in the loss of your personal data, they are legally obligated to contact you to inform you of the situation. This will usually come in the form of a letter or email.
The correspondence will often provide basic details about the breach and how it was caused, the type of data that may have been compromised and the actions that have already been taken to address the security risk.
It is also worth noting that organisations will often publish official statements on their website if they have suffered a data breach, which can act as confirmation that your data has been compromised in the breach.
The ICO advise that individuals who have been affected by a data breach must be informed ‘without undue delay’, which means that there are no precise guidelines as to how long it should take to receive notification that you have been subject to a data breach.
Notification from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO)
Frustratingly, our experience tells us that organisations who are responsible for a data breach do not always uphold their obligation to inform anyone who has been affected. Quite often, victims only learn about a data breach after they see a statement from the ICO.
The ICO are responsible for issuing penalties to organisations that are responsible for data breaches.
If you see that an organisation has received a penalty for a data breach, and you suspect that they may possess your personal data, it is important to act swiftly. You can contact the organisation directly for further clarity, and seek advice from our expert data breach solicitors if you are still unsure of your position.
Third party tools
There are various third-party tools which you can use if you are unsure whether or not your data has been exposed in a data leak.
A good example would be the website haveibeenpwned, which contains a database of leaked details. The information on the site includes any personal data that has been exposed on the web. This can provide you with confirmation that your data has been leaked if you suspect that an organisation has made a security error.
It should go without saying that it is very important to always remain vigilant when it comes to monitoring your accounts. If you already suspect that you may have been the victim of a data breach, it is important to take note of any suspicious activity on your accounts, or any phishing attacks, both of which could indicate that your information has been compromised.
Are you owed compensation for a data breach?
If you find that you are indeed the victim of a data breach caused by an organisation failing to adhere to UK GDPR rules, you may be in a position to claim compensation.
You can make a data breach compensation claim if an organisation has failed to protect your personal data in any way. This is regardless of whether or not you have suffered direct financial losses as a result of the breach. That being said, it is important to note that, where you have experienced financial, medical harm, anguish or anxiety, a more significant case for compensation can be launched.
At Hayes Connor Solicitors, we have a wealth of combined experience in supporting people to make data breach claims, so we know exactly what it takes to secure compensation that reflects your situation.
If you are still unsure whether your data has been exposed, and whether you would therefore be eligible to claim compensation, this is something our experts can help to establish on your behalf.
What compensation can you secure for a data leak?
If a data breach has caused direct financial and/or identity theft, this can be extremely difficult to deal with. If this type of data falls into the wrong hands, credit and fraudulent bank accounts can be set up in your name. Cybercriminals may also be able to access your existing accounts. Compensation can be sought to account for these potential risks.
Even if you have not suffered any direct financial losses following a data breach, this does not necessarily mean that you cannot make a compensation claim. Data breaches result in the loss of your private information, which can be a very traumatic experience.
Being the victim of a data breach can have a significant impact on you mentally and physically. Everyone reacts differently to these types of incidences, but for some people, the effects can include a lack of sleep, feeling ill, unsettled or confused. The fallout from a data breach can also affect your friends, your family and your job.
What to do if your data is leaked
If you learn that your data has been leaked in a data breach, it can be hard to know exactly what steps you should take. First and foremost, it is important that you take immediate steps to secure your accounts, which will include changing your passwords and creating a security alert for your credit reports.
Once you have taken these steps, you can have your case carefully reviewed to find out whether you may be able to make a data breach compensation claim. This is something our specialist data breach solicitors can support you with.
When you get in touch with a member of our team, we will advise you on whether you have grounds to make a claim and can answer any questions you might have about the general process. At this point, we can also work with you to establish the details of the data breach and what sort of information has been exposed if this has still not been made clear by the responsible organisation.
If we establish that you have grounds for data protection compensation, we can then take care of the whole claims process for you.
How Hayes Connor can help you if your data has been leaked
If you learn that your data has been compromised, our data breach solicitors can work with you to support you in making a data breach compensation claim. We can act for clients on a no win, no fee basis, removing the financial risk of pursuing the claim.
At Hayes Connor, we are one of the largest teams of data breach claims specialists in the country. We have a wealth of combined experience in securing compensation for victims of data breaches and, as such, will be able to advise you on whether you are likely to have grounds for a claim, the level of compensation you may be entitled to and what you need to do to start a claim.
We want to ensure that anyone who is affected by a data breach is able to get the compensation they deserve, while making the claims process as simple and stress-free as possible.
You can find out more about our expertise and how we handle data breach claims here.
To start a claim, you can use our online claim form and we will get back to you shortly to let you know if we believe you have grounds for compensation.
If you would like to speak to a member of our team, please do not hesitate to give us a call on 0330 041 5137.