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What should you do immediately after a data breach?

In today’s digital world, your personal data is a valuable commodity. However, all too often negligent business processes, human error and cybercrime mean this sensitive data isn’t as protected as it should be.

With consumer trust becoming more fragile as high-profile data breaches continue to hit the headlines, if you have been the victim of a breach or cyber-attack it is important that you know how to react.

Steps to follow after a data breach

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 should also:

  • Inform the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO)about your concerns. While it does not award compensation, if the ICO believes that the organisation in question broke the law, you can use this information in court to help prove your claim
  • Read our handy step-by-step guideto making a data breach claim
  • If you are worried that your banking details have been exposed, contact your bank 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
  • 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. If you are not sure whether your information has been misused or mishandled, we can find this out for you. 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.

What can you do to get help following a data breach?

At Hayes Connor Solicitors, we are committed to helping those affected by cybercrime and data breaches. To do this, we regularly work with, and refer our clients to, other organisations and partners.

Find out more about getting help after a data breach here.

Can you claim compensation if you didn’t lose any money?

In short, yes. The impact of data breaches goes much further than financial losses. 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. And, according to Victim Support, the effects can last for a long time.

In many cases, the full impact of a data breach is not felt until months after the initial violation.

Smaller data breaches can also have a big impact

 It’s almost impossible to pick up a newspaper or turn on the television without hearing about how some big company has been hacked with thousands of customers put at risk. But, while these cases are important, every day smaller data breaches are causing misery and upset to people across the UK. And while these incidents don’t make the headlines, for those involved the experience can be devastating. Crucially, in most cases, these data breaches aren’t caused by scammers trying to hack big businesses, but by simple human errors.

Making a data breach compensation 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 distress?

If you want to find out more about claiming for a data breach you can contact us here.

 

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