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Safeguarding Your Information After a Data Breach

Data breaches have become a common occurrence in modern life as we continue to become more connected to the online world. It’s something that is becoming fairly normal to hear about, but what happens when it’s your information that has been stolen?

To avoid fraudulent use of your personal details after a data breach, we have listed some handy tips below for you:

Be aware of company updates

The company that had the data breach should notify you within a timely manner of the breach and if your details had been taken. From there, they should also inform you about the specific personal information they held that was taken, so you can take the appropriate steps to secure your details. 

Note that data breaches are not always detected immediately, so it is important to be swift in the action you take as your information may have been available for fraudulent use for some time. 

Contact your bank

If the breached details included any information about payments such as bank account numbers and bank account logins, contact your bank immediately. 

They will help you get everything changed to avoid any financial loss. The bank can also help you set up alerts to inform you and them if fraudulent activity is suspected, such as large amounts of money being transferred or overseas withdrawals. Alongside this, they can offer you support in keeping your bank details secure in the future. 

Data Breach
STRONG PASSWORDS – Make sure your passwords are hard to crack

Change your passwords

It’s a good idea to change your passwords on a regular basis, but in the event of a data breach, it’s crucial to change your passwords straight away to something strong, secure and unique. You shouldn’t use the same password for all of your accounts.

A strong password can be something that is at least 8 characters with a mixture of both upper and lower-case letters, numbers and symbols. Usually, web browsers have a password manager embedded to help you pick a recommended password and will keep track of them for you so you don’t have to worry about remembering them all. 

Use two-factor authentication

Enabling additional security measures to your accounts is becoming increasingly more important than it used to be. Using things such as a two-factor authentication could be the difference between your details being breached or not. 

Two-factor authentication is where you add an additional step to logging into an account. You may enter your password and then be requested to input a verification code received by text or email. It may seem a little tedious but it does the job of keeping information safe. 

Be cautious of phishing attempts

Stay vigilant for phishing emails or calls trying to extract personal information from you. Some emails and calls can come from seemingly legitimate companies, however, there are always little things that give them away. 

Look out for spelling mistakes in emails, sometimes they can be blatantly obvious, sometimes they can be hidden in the depths of the footer. Checking out the official contact email address is always a good indicator of spam, the sender may say Barings Law but the email could be 12345@23133.com

If a link is ever included in an email address, refrain from clicking it until you know about its authenticity. You might not think it could do a lot of damage but that one little thing could allow a hacker to gain access to your information. 

Consider identity theft monitoring

If your data has been breached, some companies may grant you a subscription to identity theft monitoring services. Even if you haven’t been breached, it’s always worth setting up as a precautionary measure. 

Take a look at some credit scoring websites such as Experian, they can tell you about your rating and find out if anything odd has taken place. 

Claim compensation

If a data breach occurs, the organisation should inform the ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office) and the person(s) affected within a reasonable timeframe — a breach does not need to be reported, but there needs to be justification for the decision. The ICO will start an investigation to see how it happened and what the organisation had in place to prevent this from happening. 

The less compliant an organisation has been, the higher the risk of being fined and suffering reputational damage. 

Regardless of the findings, GDPR gives you the right to claim compensation as a result of the organisation breaking data protection law. This includes both “material damage” (financial loss) or “non-material damage” (e.g. you have suffered distress).

You do not have to make a court claim to obtain compensation – the organisation may agree to pay you. However, if they do not agree to pay, your next step would be to make a claim in court. The court would decide your case on whether or not the organisation would have to pay you compensation.

Court proceedings can be costly and without the correct legal advice, your chances of success could be lower than with legal advice. Barings Law is currently taking on multiple data breach claims against organisations that have been hacked, and even sold data to third-party companies. 

If your data has been stolen or sold, we will act on your behalf on a no-win no-fee basis.

All you have to do is submit a quick 2-minute form by following the link below. 

Once our legal experts have conducted a report to see if you have a valid claim, they will be in contact to get the ball rolling. 

It’s as simple as that, and if you are still unsure, you can view our reviews from clients who have had successful data breach claims with us.