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Everything you need to know about making a Group Action Claim against Equifax

Why should you join a group action case against Equifax?

A group action allows people with the same type of claim to bring it together on a collective basis. Group action claims are becoming far more common in the UK. Here are just some of the reasons why:

  • Strength in numbers. Starting a claim can be frightening, and it’s not unusual for people who have perfectly valid complaints to be put off due to the risks of going up against a large and well-resourced Defendant. Where cases are very similar, group actions can be a powerful tool and can redress the balance
  • Save on legal costs. By joining together, individuals can share the risks and costs of claiming compensation. Legal advice is also shared, so not everyone in the action needs to pay for their own solicitor
  • Help victims with smaller claims. Group actions provide a way for people with more modest cases (that may not justify legal fees) to claim the compensation they deserve. Often, solicitors will agree to take such cases on a no-win no-fee basis
  • You might not have to go to court. Usually, a Test Case is started, and common issues are tried. The result of this case is then used as a precedent for other cases in the action; so every single claim doesn’t have to be taken to court.

However, just because a case is part of a group action, this doesn’t mean that everyone will get the same amount of compensation if successful. All claims within a group action are still settled based on their merits, and victims will receive what they are owed.

We believe that a group action is the best way to seek compensation from Equifax.

Find out more about group actions.

How much does it cost to join the Equifax group action?

At Hayes Connor Solicitors, we are dealing with all Equifax data breach claims on a no-win, no-fee basis. This means that, if your claim is not successful, you won’t have to pay a penny.

What’s more, if your claim is successful we expect to be paid by the offending party (Equifax). So, as well as providing no-win, no-fee funding arrangements, we won’t charge you a “success fee”. This means, if you are awarded £1,500, you’ll get all of the compensation. There are no solicitor’s fees win or lose.

There are also no hidden charges or other administration fees.

How much compensation can you expect following the Equifax data breach?

We cannot say that you will definitely get compensation, but a group action helps to strengthen your chances. We believe Equifax has breached people’s data and needs to be held responsible by compensating for any losses, distress and inconvenience caused.

While each case is different, it is expected that each person will be able to claim between £1,000 and £2,500 (possibly even more for people who have had their financial data stolen).

What should you do now?

To become part of the Equifax group action, you will need to register with Hayes Connor Solicitors. Doing this guarantees that you will form part of the compensation claims that will be lodged by the firm. We will keep your details (securely of course!) and help you get the compensation you deserve.

Once you have registered with us, it’s important to keep a ‘diary’ or note of events since the hack. This will help us with your case.

For example:

  • Has your card been used without permission?
  • Are there transactions that you bank has picked up that you haven’t made?
  • Are you getting more ‘spam’ or junk email with your name on it? If so, create a folder and keep it as this may be relevant
  • Are you anxious or worried by the thought of people being able to access your data? Has this caused you any distress?

We have already received an influx of queries from people whose data was put at risk by the credit reference agency. If you were affected, you could be entitled to up to several thousand pounds, so it’s important to act now.

Register your details here.

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How much compensation could you receive following the Equifax data hack?

The investigation by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) into Equifax data hack is now drawing to a close. And, our data breach compensation solicitors are predicting that the regulator may well impose a financial penalty of millions of pounds.

So, if you think your data was put at risk because of the Equifax data breach, now is the time to start preparing your claim for compensation. But how much could you receive?

Well, while each case is different, it is expected that each person will be able to claim between £500 and £3,000.

 

Data stolen Likely compensation pay-out
Financial data £3,000
Email addresses £1,500
Other personal data £500 – £1,000

 

With 14 million customers affected in the UK alone, in addition to any fines imposed by the regulator, Equifax could find itself facing a compensation bill of millions of pounds. And that’s just this side of the Atlantic. The figures in the US could be even more staggering.

If Equifax is already being fined by the FCA, why do you still need to claim compensation?

The Equifax data breach compromised the personal information of 14 million customers, with 30,000 people having their email addresses stolen and 15,000 having their credit card details put at risk. The potential consequences of the breach include financial fraud, identify fraud, cyber-extortion and online harassment.

However, any fine given by the FCA will not go towards victims of the data breach. So, anyone who has suffered following the Equifax cyber-attack should be looking to claim compensation.

At Hayes Connor Solicitors our data breach compensation solicitors are ready to help victims of the Equifax data hack to claim compensation and get the payment they deserve. You can claim if you have lost out financially because of the hack, or if the data breach has caused you stress or anxiety (in a way that could be diagnosed by a psychologist).

To help you get the justice you deserve, we are launching a group action against Equifax. This strengthens your overall position and increases your chances of settlement or success at Court. What’s more, we are also providing no-win, no-fee funding arrangements in this case, and, if successful, we won’t charge a “success fee”. This means, if you are awarded £1,500, you will get all of the compensation. There are no solicitor’s fees win or lose.

To become part of the Equifax group action, you will need to register with Hayes Connor Solicitors. Doing this guarantees that you will form part of the compensation claims that will be lodged by the firm.

If you have been affected and want to join the group action, you can register your details here.

 

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How do you make a compensation claim against Equifax?

Industry experts are predicting that the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) investigation into the Equifax data breach is now coming to an end. If the FCA finds Equifax guilty of not looking after consumer data with the necessary levels of care, this could open the floodgates to millions of compensation claims being made against Equifax.

So, what should you do if you think your data has been compromised because of the Equifax data hack? How do you make a claim against Equifax?

  1. If you are in any way concerned, contact the data breach compensation solicitors at Hayes Connor Solicitors and let us know. You can register your details here
  1. We will check if you have had your data breached (if the company has not written to you and admitted as much already)
  2. Once we have established that your data has been violated – and the extent of this failing – we can start the claims procedure on your behalf. Of course, we’ll only do this with your explicit agreement!
  3. Once you have registered with our data breach compensation solicitors, it’s important to keep a ‘diary’ or note of events since the hack. This will help us with your case. This includes things like whether your card been used without permission, if there are transactions that your bank has picked up that you haven’t made and if you are getting more ‘spam’ or junk email with your name on it
  4. You should also keep a note if you are anxious or worried by the thought of people being able to access your data
  5. When the results of the FCA investigation are revealed, we will make sure you are part of our group action against Equifax. With this group action claim, you and the other claimants collectively bring your cases to court against Equifax. Where circumstances are very similar, group actions can be a powerful tool and can have a bigger impact than a single claim.

 

Read our FAQ’s to find out more and to add your details to our secure database. Our expert, friendly data breach compensation solicitors will advise you when you have a valid claim and will be pleased to answer any questions you might have.

We have already received an influx of queries from people whose data was put at risk by the credit reference agency. If you were affected, you could be entitled to up to several thousand pounds, so it’s important to act now.

 

REGISTER NOW

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Equifax data hack fine imminent

The Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) investigation into the Equifax data hack is expected to result in a financial penalty of millions of pounds. In response, our data breach solicitors are ready to launch a huge group action against Equifax.

The FCA investigation

The FCA revealed that it was investigating the Equifax data breach in October last year. While the FCA does not typically disclose whether it is looking into a company, it said it had chosen to confirm the existence of an investigation given the “public interest” in the case.

The Equifax data breach compromised the personal information of 14 million customers, with 30,000 people having their email addresses stolen and 15,000 having their credit card details put at risk. The potential consequences of the breach include financial fraud, identify fraud, cyber-extortion and online harassment.

While the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is also investigating the breach, the news about the FCAs involvement was significant for consumers because the FCA has considerably more powers than the ICO. This means that the matter is being treated very seriously.

Given the significance of this case, and the number of people involved, our data breach solicitors predict that the regulator may well impose financial penalties running into the millions of pounds.

However, while a fine would be an essential step in ensuring big businesses like Equifax do more to uphold their obligations and keep people safe, it does very little to help those already affected by the breach. As such, anyone who has suffered following the Equifax cyber-attack should be looking to claim compensation.

In fact, if the FCA does rule against Equifax, this could help customers to get compensation through civil litigation.

At Hayes Connor Solicitors, our data breach solicitors are ready to help victims of the Equifax data hack to claim compensation and get the payment they deserve. In fact, over the last few months, our data breach and cybercrime experts have witnessed an influx of queries from people who are concerned that their data may be at risk.

Crucially, it doesn’t matter if you haven’t lost out financially as a result of the Equifax hack. Being the victim of a crime can have a significant impact on you mentally and physically. So, if the data breach has caused you stress or anxiety – in a way that could be diagnosed by a psychologist – then the law agrees that you are entitled to compensation.

To help our clients get the justice they deserve, we are launching a group action against Equifax. This allows people with the same type of claim to bring it together on a collective basis. Doing this strengthens their overall position and increases their chances of settlement or success at Court. What’s more, we are also providing no-win, no-fee funding arrangements in this case, and, if successful, we won’t charge a “success fee”. This means, if you are awarded £1,500, you will get all of the compensation. There are no solicitor’s fees win or lose.

Let our data breach solicitors help you

To become part of the Equifax group action, you will need to register with Hayes Connor Solicitors. Doing this guarantees that you will form part of the compensation claims that will be lodged by the firm. While each case is different, it is expected that each person will be able to claim between £500 and £3,000.

 

If you have been affected and want to join the group action, you can register your details here.

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Equifax data breach is even worse than first thought

In September last year, it was revealed that up to 400,000 people in the UK might have had their personal details stolen when Equifax was hacked by cybercriminals.

Equifax is the second largest credit reference agency in the UK and is used by a wide range of companies to decide whether to issue mortgages, loans, store cards, credit cards, etc. So, even if you are not an Equifax customer, it could still hold a wealth of information about you. That’s why, when it was revealed that hackers had gained access to the private details of Equifax customers (both here and in the US), it was big news.

At the time, it was reported that the stolen data included names, address, dates of birth, and credit card numbers. However, last month it became apparent that the sheer scale of the Equifax breach had gone from bad to worse, with more information stolen than initially reported. In fact, 3,200 passport images were also taken by cybercriminals, despite initial denials from the company.

How can cybercriminals use your private data?  

Along with the original info stolen, our images are considered to be personally identifiable information (PII). PII includes any data that can be used to identify a specific individual, and, if it gets into the wrong hands, it can be used to undertake identity fraud.  For example, with enough information, cybercriminals can apply for credit in your name, set up fraudulent bank accounts and access your existing accounts.

Signs that criminals have used your data following a data breach include:

  • Bills or emails showing goods or services you haven’t ordered
  • Unfamiliar transactions from your account
  • An unexpected dip in your credit score
  • Unsolicited communications that ask for your personal data or refer you to a web page asking for personal data.

Crucially, it doesn’t matter if you haven’t lost out financially as a result of the hack. A personal data breach is a 21st-century version of being burgled and being the victim of a crime can have a significant impact on you mentally and physically. So, if the data breach has caused you stress or anxiety (in a way that could be diagnosed by a psychologist), then the law agrees that you are entitled to compensation.

Holding Equifax to account

While Equifax was the victim of a cyber-attack, it was responsible for protecting your personal information. So, if you have suffered damage or distress caused by this hack, you have a right to claim compensation.

The stolen passport images relate to those individuals already impacted by the breach, so, if you have previously received a letter from Equifax informing you that your data was put at risk, it is vital that you now make a compensation claim and hold them to account.

To make matters worse, not only did Equifax fail to come clean straight away about the scale of the breach, but a former Equifax executive also sold his shares in the company before the news of the hack went public. Earning roughly $1 million in the process, the executive was set to profit at the expense of millions of customers. He has since been charged with insider trading, but his actions reflect a disdain for consumer data protection that is all too common.

With data breaches on the rise, something has to be done to make big companies accountable for these losses, so claiming compensation isn’t just in your best interests, it could be the only way to ensure that businesses everywhere implement more secure processes.

What should you do now?

In the UK, investigations into the Equifax data breach are still ongoing, and, we’ve been contacted by hundreds of people worried that their personal data was not looked after as carefully as it should have been.

In response, at Hayes Connor, we are preparing a group litigation action for everyone who has had their data accessed in the Equifax data breach. To become part of this group action, we need you to register with us. This guarantees that you will form part of the compensation claims that will be lodged by us.

While each case is different, we expect to claim £1,000 to £2,500 per person. And, as well as providing no-win, no-fee funding arrangements, we won’t charge you a “success fee”. This means, if you are awarded £1,500, you’ll get all of the compensation. So there are no solicitor’s fees whether you win or lose.

If you have been affected and want to join our group action, register your details here.

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Expedia data breach – have your bank details been exposed?

As news reports everywhere discussed the ins and outs of the Facebook/Cambridge Analytica scandal, another data breach was uncovered last month. But, because the details aren’t as juicy as those in the Facebook case, it didn’t quite get as much coverage. So you might not have heard about it.

But, for victims of the Expedia data hack – which may have revealed the information on thousands of payment cards – the consequences could be even worse. So, what exactly happened, and can you make a data protection act compensation claim if your details are at risk?

Expedia data breach – what happened?

In March, travel fare aggregator Orbitz revealed that between January 2016 and December 2017, hackers gained access to users’ personal information. This included names, phone numbers, emails and billing addresses. Orbitz, which is owned by Expedia, offers booking options and deals on flights, accommodation and holiday activities.

The hack, which is believed to have accessed 80,000 accounts wasn’t discovered until March 2018, which left plenty of time for cybercriminals to put this information to illegal use.

A statement by Orbitz said: “To date, we do not have direct evidence that this personal information was actually taken from the platform and there has been no evidence of access to other types of personal information, including passport and travel itinerary information.”

However, that data that has been accessed is extremely personal and could cause serious damage and distress for victims.

Should you be worried?

The information accessed in the Expedia data hack is enough to leave victims open to fraud. So, if you have been affected, you are right to worry about what could happen if this data gets into the wrong hands. For example, with enough information, cybercriminals can apply for credit in your name, set up fraudulent bank accounts and access your existing accounts.

Signs that your data has been used by criminals following a data breach include:

  • Bills or emails showing goods or services you haven’t ordered
  • Unfamiliar transactions from your account
  • An unexpected dip in your credit score
  • Unsolicited communications that ask for your personal data or refer you to a web page asking for personal data.

Don’t be fobbed off!

To help protect users, Orbitz has said those affected can access a year of free credit monitoring and identity protection services. But, given the amount of time that has lapsed between the breach and its discovery, this could be too little too late.

Also, while we do recommend using these types of services – particularly following a data breach – you should make sure that by agreeing to any free offers, you are not inadvertently signing away you rights to make a data protection act compensation claim.

Can you make a data protection act compensation claim?

If you have suffered damage or distress caused by an organisation breaching any part of the Data Protection Act, you have a right to claim compensation. You can claim against a wide range of private organisations and businesses already fined by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

As such, if you want to hold Expedia to account we recommend that you inform the ICO about your concerns ASAP.

You can do this here.


However, while the ICO has the power to impose hefty fines on organisations in breach of their duties, it does not award compensation, So, you should also contact us to claim data protection act compensation.

Start your data protection act compensation claim
At Hayes Connor Solicitors, we make sure you receive the maximum compensation possible in the shortest possible time for any financial, medical harm, anguish and anxiety caused by a data breach. We will also let you know when your claim for data protection act compensation can be made and advise you on what to do while waiting for the investigation’s findings.

With large-scale, high-profile hacks and breaches happening more and more often, something has to be done to make companies accountable for these losses. So, claiming compensation isn’t just in your best interests – it could be the only way to ensure that they implement more secure processes.

VISIT OUR SECURE DATA BREACH FORM

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Facebook Data Scandal

Last week Mark Zuckerberg faced some hard questions about the Facebook data scandal – Here is a round up of what he said:

 

Hard Questions: Q&A With Mark Zuckerberg on Protecting People’s Information

Mark Zuckerberg

about 2 weeks ago

I want to share an update on the Cambridge Analytica situation — including the steps we’ve already taken and our next steps to address this important issue.

We have a responsibility to protect your data, and if we can’t then we don’t deserve to serve you. I’ve been working to understand exactly what happened and how to make sure this doesn’t happen again. The good news is that the most important actions to prevent this from happening again today we have already taken years ago. But we also made mistakes, there’s more to do, and we need to step up and do it.

Here’s a timeline of the events:

In 2007, we launched the Facebook Platform with the vision that more apps should be social. Your calendar should be able to show your friends’ birthdays, your maps should show where your friends live, and your address book should show their pictures. To do this, we enabled people to log into apps and share who their friends were and some information about them.

In 2013, a Cambridge University researcher named Aleksandr Kogan created a personality quiz app. It was installed by around 300,000 people who shared their data as well as some of their friends’ data. Given the way our platform worked at the time this meant Kogan was able to access tens of millions of their friends’ data.

In 2014, to prevent abusive apps, we announced that we were changing the entire platform to dramatically limit the data apps could access. Most importantly, apps like Kogan’s could no longer ask for data about a person’s friends unless their friends had also authorized the app. We also required developers to get approval from us before they could request any sensitive data from people. These actions would prevent any app like Kogan’s from being able to access so much data today.

In 2015, we learned from journalists at The Guardian that Kogan had shared data from his app with Cambridge Analytica. It is against our policies for developers to share data without people’s consent, so we immediately banned Kogan’s app from our platform, and demanded that Kogan and Cambridge Analytica formally certify that they had deleted all improperly acquired data. They provided these certifications.

Last week, we learned from The Guardian, The New York Times and Channel 4 that Cambridge Analytica may not have deleted the data as they had certified. We immediately banned them from using any of our services. Cambridge Analytica claims they have already deleted the data and has agreed to a forensic audit by a firm we hired to confirm this. We’re also working with regulators as they investigate what happened.

This was a breach of trust between Kogan, Cambridge Analytica and Facebook. But it was also a breach of trust between Facebook and the people who share their data with us and expect us to protect it. We need to fix that.

In this case, we already took the most important steps a few years ago in 2014 to prevent bad actors from accessing people’s information in this way. But there’s more we need to do and I’ll outline those steps here:

First, we will investigate all apps that had access to large amounts of information before we changed our platform to dramatically reduce data access in 2014, and we will conduct a full audit of any app with suspicious activity. We will ban any developer from our platform that does not agree to a thorough audit. And if we find developers that misused personally identifiable information, we will ban them and tell everyone affected by those apps. That includes people whose data Kogan misused here as well.

Second, we will restrict developers’ data access even further to prevent other kinds of abuse. For example, we will remove developers’ access to your data if you haven’t used their app in 3 months. We will reduce the data you give an app when you sign in — to only your name, profile photo, and email address. We’ll require developers to not only get approval but also sign a contract in order to ask anyone for access to their posts or other private data. And we’ll have more changes to share in the next few days.

Third, we want to make sure you understand which apps you’ve allowed to access your data. In the next month, we will show everyone a tool at the top of your News Feed with the apps you’ve used and an easy way to revoke those apps’ permissions to your data. We already have a tool to do this in your privacy settings, and now we will put this tool at the top of your News Feed to make sure everyone sees it.

Beyond the steps we had already taken in 2014, I believe these are the next steps we must take to continue to secure our platform.

I started Facebook, and at the end of the day I’m responsible for what happens on our platform. I’m serious about doing what it takes to protect our community. While this specific issue involving Cambridge Analytica should no longer happen with new apps today, that doesn’t change what happened in the past. We will learn from this experience to secure our platform further and make our community safer for everyone going forward.

I want to thank all of you who continue to believe in our mission and work to build this community together. I know it takes longer to fix all these issues than we’d like, but I promise you we’ll work through this and build a better service over the long term.

[source: Facebook Hard questions]

If you are worried that you have been affected then contact us today

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MyFitnessPal data breach – know your rights Step-by-step guide to claiming data protection act compensation

Last week it was revealed that MyFitnessPal was breached. Affecting 150 million users, the scale of the breach makes it one of the largest data hacks in history.

What data has been stolen?

The data stolen includes usernames, email addresses and scrambled passwords for both the MyFitnessPal app and the website.

An email from MyFitnessPal to affected users said that on March 25, 2018, Under Armour – the maker of the app – became aware that during February of this year an unauthorised party acquired data associated with MyFitnessPal user accounts. Once informed, Under Armour said that it “quickly took steps to determine the nature and scope of the issue”. It also said that it is working with leading data security firms to assist in its investigation; and that it has notified and is coordinating with law enforcement authorities.

Users have also been given advice on how they can protect their data. However, this could be too little too late.

What can criminals do with this stolen data?

With enough information, cyber criminals can apply for credit in your name, set up fraudulent bank accounts and access your existing accounts. And, while in this case bank details and home addresses were not put at risk, there is a lot of information that can be collected from an email account.

Signs that your data has been stolen include:

  • Bills or emails showing goods or services you haven’t ordered
  • Unfamiliar transactions or suspicious activity on your account
  • An unexpected dip in your credit score
  • Unsolicited communications that ask for your personal data or refer you to a web page asking for personal data.

To protect yourself from cyber criminals, make sure you follow the advice provided by MyFitnessPal. In particular, change your password and avoiding clicking on links or downloading attachments from suspicious emails.  

Step-by-step guide to data protection act compensation

If you have had your data stolen, it is also essential that you know your rights.

  1. If you have suffered damage or distress caused by an organisation breaching any part of the Data Protection Act, you have a right to claim compensation
  2. You can make a claim against a wide range of private organisations and businesses already fined by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO)
  3. The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is an independent authority, set up to uphold information rights in the public interest, and to promote openness by public bodies and data privacy for individuals. While the ICO does not award compensation, it does have the power to impose hefty fines on organisations in breach of their duties
  4. At Hayes Connor Solicitors, we can help you to claim data protection act compensation. We make sure you receive the maximum compensation possible in the shortest possible time
  5. To claim compensation, you must be able to prove that you suffered as a result of the breach. This includes financial and medical harm, as well as anguish and anxiety. In many cases, a violation will not cause damage but will cause distress. This could be especially true in this case should personal fitness and health data be exposed
  6. Until recently, a person who suffered damage might have had their compensation increased to take into account any associated distress, but in most cases compensation would not have been awarded for distress alone. However, a recent ruling has paved the way for those affected by data breaches to claim damages for distress, even if they have not suffered any financial loss.

It is vital to hold large companies to account to ensure better data protection processes are put in place. So, if you have been affected by the MyFitnessPal breach we recommend that you inform the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) about your concerns ASAP.

In addition, if you are a MyFitnessPal user and are worried that your data has been accessed and exploited, you should get in touch with Hayes Connor Solicitors. We will let you know when your claim for data protection act compensation can be made and help you get the redress you deserve. We will also be able to advise you on what to do while waiting for the investigation’s findings.

VISIT OUR SECURE DATA BREACH FORM

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Have you ever applied for a loan, mortgage, credit card or mobile phone? You could become a victim of identity fraud.

In May 2017, Equifax was the victim of a cyber-attack which put the personal information of over 100,000 UK customers at risk. And, even if you’ve never heard of the company, you could still become a victim of identity fraud. But what do you need to know and how can you secure data protection breach compensation?

What is Equifax?

Equifax is a credit-reference agency. When you apply for a loan, mortgage, credit card or mobile phone, the company you are requesting credit from might use Equifax to check your credit report and decide whether to approve your application. So, even if you are not an Equifax customer, they could hold your data, and this could now be at risk.

What information does Equifax hold?

Because of the nature of what it does, Equifax has a massive amount of information on individuals. This includes personal information, employment records, home addresses and financial details.

Phone numbers, dates of birth, driving licence numbers, email addresses, passwords and partial credit card details were all accessed in the latest breach, which is enough to leave victims open to the threat of fraud. And we should all be very worried about what could happen if this data gets into the wrong hands.

For example, with enough information, cyber criminals can apply for credit in your name, set up fraudulent bank accounts and access your existing accounts. To make matters worse, victims of ID fraud often have no idea that it is even happening until it is too late.

Signs that your identity has been stolen include:

• Bills or emails showing goods or services you haven’t ordered
• Unfamiliar transactions from your account
• An unexpected dip in your credit score.

A breach of trust

It’s clear that your data is a valuable commodity, but all too often companies do not protect this as well as they should do. So, it’s no wonder that data breaches are on the rise. Even worse, in most cases, data losses are entirely preventable; businesses just don’t like investing in cybersecurity, updating their systems, or training their staff.

With large-scale, high-profile hacks and breaches happening more and more often, something has to be done to make companies accountable for these losses. So, claiming data protection breach compensation isn’t just in your best interests – it could be the only way to ensure that they implement more secure processes.

In the Equifax case, the lack of care shown towards those who are affected was made even worse when it was revealed that a former Equifax executive sold his shares in the company before the news of the data breach went public. Earning roughly $1 million in the process, the executive was set to profit at the expense of millions of customers (in the UK and US). Luckily he has since been charged with insider trading, but his actions reflect a disdain for consumer data protection that is all too common.

Don’t be bought off!

As is common in such cases, victims of the Equifax data breach were offered a number of free services to reduce their risk following the hack. These included a credit-report monitoring service, a web monitoring service, the option to get a copy of your credit report by post, and registration to a fraud protection service.

But, if you are offered free services by any organisation following a data breach, it’s vital that you know your rights before you sign up. Make sure you are not inadvertently signing away your rights to pursue a compensation claim at a later date.

So, what can you do to protect yourself and your data?

If you get an Equifax letter telling you that you might be at risk, contact Hayes Connor Solicitors for further advice about what to do. We will keep your details (securely of course!) and ensure you are kept updated about how the investigation into the Equifax hack is progressing.

As no win- no fee data protection solicitors, if Equifax is fined, we will let you know when your claim for compensation can be made and help you get the compensation you deserve.

We will also be able to advise you on what to do while waiting for the investigation’s findings.

VISIT OUR SECURE DATA BREACH FORM

What does Facebook know about you?

You know that Facebook is embroiled in a massive privacy row. But among the news about what happened, who knew what, and what is still to be revealed, it’s important to look at WHY this data breach matters to ordinary people here in the UK.

What data does Facebook hold?

Lots. In fact, much, much more than most of us were aware. To access your Facebook data archive, go to your settings and click on ‘Download a copy of your Facebook data’.

Here is just some of the data Facebook might hold on you (depending on your permission settings):

  • Your profile details including your age, gender and education
  • Your telephone number and email address
  • Your likes and your friends’ likes
  • The websites you visit
  • Which events you’ve been invited to (and whether you accepted or declined the invitations)
  • Your political leanings
  • Your travel habits
  • Your relationship history
  • Every single person you’ve ever been a friend with on Facebook, including requests sent, denied requests and removed friends
  • Which ads you have clicked on (how often and when)
  • Which advertisers have your details
  • Every single contact on your phone, including ones you no longer have
  • How many times you’ve contacted every person whose contact details you’ve kept in your phone. This includes calls and texts made through your cellular network which have nothing to do with Facebook
  • Every single message you have ever sent via its platform
  • Every picture you’ve ever shared or received.
Why should you care?

Maybe you don’t care that Facebook has access to all this info. And, if the social media giant could 100% guarantee that this data was being kept safe, that might be okay. But the latest breach shows that Facebook has already put this data at risk due to poor internal processes. So, how can we be sure that this won’t happen again? And what is being done with the information already out there?

What criminals can do with your data

We already know that Facebook is under investigation, and that our data might have been used to influence how some of us voted in the Brexit campaign. And, if true, the manipulation of our democratic processes should be horrifying to everyone.

But even for those of us that aren’t political, we should be very worried about what could happen if this massive amount of data got into the wrong hands.

Cybercrime is on the rise, and according to research, hackers stole or compromised an estimated £20.2bn worth of records from businesses last year. While people of any age can be victims of identity fraud, the risk increases if you share information on social media. Even a normal, accessible profile can be used by criminals.

Check out this video by fraud prevention service Cifas to see how easy it is.

How private is your data?

Victims of ID fraud might have no idea that it is even happening until it is too late. Signs that your identity has been stolen include:

  • Bills or emails showing goods or services you haven’t ordered
  • Unfamiliar transactions from your account
  • An unexpected dip in your credit score

Take action now!

But what can you do to protect yourself and your data? First, make sure you review your privacy settings on Facebook and all other social media channels. In particular, find out which apps have access to your Facebook data.

Next, it’s important to stand up to big organisations who are exploiting our data. Particularly as the recent revelations could just be the tip of the iceberg.

Here at Hayes Connor, we are no win- no fee data protection solicitors and we are preparing a potential group action to take on the tech giant and secure data protection act compensation.

Having already received ‘hundreds’ of enquiries from worried Facebook users across the country, we could be talking about one of the largest ever group actions of its kind in the UK courts.

If you are a Facebook user and are concerned that your data has been accessed and exploited, get in touch. We’ll let you know if and when you can claim.

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