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Hayes Connor Solicitors Data Breach Overview: March 2020

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Each month at Hayes Connor Solicitors, we take a look at some of the key data breach news that has occurred over the last few weeks. Looking at both significant cases, legal developments, and what's happening at our firm, we hope to help businesses and individuals to become fully protected in our increasingly online world.

So, what happened in March 2020? Find out in our data breach overview.

March 2020 data breach news

The coronavirus outbreak changed everything

Restrictions that we are all now living under seemed almost unbelievable at the start of the month. But, on 11th March 2020, the coronavirus outbreak was labelled a pandemic by the World Health Organisation. And life as we knew it changed significantly.

However, part of what represents a good functioning justice system is its ability to provide clarity and stability for individuals, particularly in times of uncertainty. In the UK, our justice system is continuing to operate - although much of it is now being done remotely. And, as a tech-enabled firm, at Hayes Connor Solicitors, we continue to protect the rights of the people who need us.

Data protection issues were raised during the coronavirus pandemic

Hayes Connor raised concerns about a potential increase in data breaches during the coronavirus pandemic. In particular, we are worried about:

  • An increase in phishing emails and coronavirus scams. RiskIQ - a world-leading cybersecurity company - also issued a stark warning that ransomware attacks are likely to be the next consequence of the coronavirus outbreak
  • How data will be processed and shared at a time when technological innovation - while necessary - is happening at speed.
  • An increase in human error due to heightened levels of stress and an upsurge in homeworking.

Hayes Connor helped a woman retrieve £57,000 following sophisticated push payment fraud cyber-attack

Hayes Connor managed to retrieve £57,000 in compensation after cybercriminals stole £96,000 from a woman in a sophisticated push payment scam. The money was intended for a property purchase and was stolen after the fraudsters hacked her solicitor's email system.


Vulnerable people were put at risk following the Watford Community Housing Trust data breach

Watford Community Housing Trust inadvertently leaked the personal details of 3,545 tenants. The violation happened when the Trust sent out an email to residents, informing them of changes to services during the coronavirus outbreak and the closure of its offices on Clarendon Road.

At Hayes Connor, we have been contacted by many Watford Community Housing Trust residents, all of who are worried about the increased risk, and some of who are vulnerable and now living in fear.


Virgin Media suffered a data breach

On 5thMarch 2020, Virgin Media contacted thousands of customers to let them know that their personal information had been breached. This privacy violation affected 900,000 people.

The breach happened as a Virgin Media database was left unsecured and obtainable online for ten months. During this time, Virgin Media confirms that it was accessed "on at least one occasion" by an unknown user. Virgin Media warned customers that they might be targeted for phishing attempts, fraud, or nuisance marketing communications.

However, what wasn't made clear by the company when it informed customers about the Virgin Media data breach, was that the unsecured data also contained details linking some customers to pornography and explicit websites.

The Tesco Clubcard data breach highlighted the value of personal data

Tesco Clubcard holders were contacted after a security issue was discovered and some customers had their accounts accessed unlawfully. However, in this case, it doesn't appear that Tesco was responsible for the data breach. Instead, Tesco believed that cybercriminals used data that had been stolen in other breaches to try and break into customer accounts and steal loyalty points/Clubcard vouchers. This highlights how a 'simple' data breach could have wide-reaching consequences.

About Hayes Connor

At Hayes Connor, we are true experts in data breach law. This is all we do, and we have been doing it longer than most other solicitors. We lead our field when it comes to understanding the complexities involved. What's more, we have been working to defend consumer rights for over 50 years.

As well as our experienced lawyers, our team also includes some of the UK's best data breach barristers. This ensures our clients get the very best level of legal support available.

A lack of care and understanding about data breach law can leave victims open to advice and representation below the standard expected. And this could see people lose out financially as a result. But, despite being the most experienced data protection solicitors around, we also provide no-win, no-fee funding arrangements. So our clients don't have to worry about costs. There are no hidden charges or administration fees.

Importantly, while we are experts in group actions, we also deal with smaller individual cases. And we understand that for those involved the experience can be devastating. So, regardless of the details, we never belittle anyone's experience.

And, because making a data breach claim is stressful enough without having to chase your solicitor, we provide regular updates, so our clients always know what's happening. Together, this experience and expertise ensure that our data breach solicitors are unmatched in the UK.

Contact Hayes Connor Solicitors todayfor a free, no-obligation, initial assessment of your case and remember to keep an eye out for our April 2020 data breach overview.