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My data has been breached…what can I do?

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If your personal information is compromised in a data breach – regardless of whether the privacy violation happened at the hands of cybercriminals or because of human error – you must take immediate action. At Keller Lenkner UK, we believe that this is important because, should your data fall into the wrong hands, you could become the victim of identity theft and financial fraud.

In today’s digital world, your personal data is valuable, and following a breach, people’s details (e.g. email addresses) are often found for sale on the dark web. Frequently, this information is sold over and over again. So data breach victims can be targeted by more than one cybercriminal, in more than one cyber-attack.

Keller Lenkner UK’s data breach lawyers have considerable experience helping people whose data has been breached. And, to help you stay safe following a breach or cyber-attack, we would always recommend the following steps.

Contact the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO)

As a first step, you should report the data breach to the Information Commissioner’s Office (the ICO).

The ICO is the UK’s data protection regulator. It investigates suspected data breaches and often takes action against companies that are found guilty of committing a violation (or making one possible). In serious cases, the ICO might even issue a huge fine.

The ICO doesn’t give any of this money to victims of data breaches. Still, as your data breach solicitor, we use the evidence uncovered by the ICO to argue your compensation case when we take on such organisations.

Concerned about the way your personal data has been handled?

START A COMPLAINT WITH THE ICO .

Make a report to Action Fraud

Action Fraud is the reporting centre for fraud and cybercrimes. Victims of online offences such as scams and financial/identity fraud should contact Action Fraud to report their loss and seek help. Victims of data breaches also become the targets of criminals, so it’s important that anyone affected by a data breach is vigilant.

MAKE A REPORT TO ACTION FRAUD

You should report suspected fraud attempts to the police and Action Fraud

MORE ABOUT ACTION FRAUD

Find out  more about the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and cybercrime

Check the “small print” of any offer

If you are offered compensation or free services from the organisation that put your data at risk, check the small print. Be careful that by accepting an offer, you don’t give away your rights to pursue a data breach compensation claim at a later date.

This is important because the full impact of a data breach is often not felt until months after the initial violation. It is crucial that you are not left short if your situation escalates.

Contact Victim Support

Victim Support is a leading independent charity. Each year, it offers support to victims of crime and traumatic incidents across the UK.

Many people suffer distress, anxiety and stress following a data breach, and this can have a significant impact on you mentally and physically. If you need support after a data breach or cybercrime, Victim Support may be able to help.

Protect yourself

To keep yourself safe after a data breach, the Keller Lenkner UK expert data breach lawyers have provided some helpful tips.

Protect your finances
  • Contact your bank or credit card provider immediately if your financial data has been exposed.
  • Check all bills and emails for goods or services you have not ordered.
  • Check your bank account for unfamiliar transactions.
  • Alert your bank or credit card provider immediately if there is any suspicious activity.
  • Monitor your credit score for any unexpected dips.
  • Call Credit, Experian and Equifax to ensure credit isn’t taken out in your name.
  • Never provide your PIN or full password to anyone (even someone claiming to be from your bank).
  • Never been pressured into moving money to another account for fraud reasons. A legitimate bank won’t ask you to do this.
Be vigilant
  • Never automatically click on any suspicious links or downloads in emails or texts.
  • Don’t assume an email or phone call is authentic just because someone has your details.
  • Be careful who you trust – criminals often use scare tactics to try and trick you into revealing your security details.
  • Know that, even if you recognise a name or number, it might not be genuine.
  • Don’t be rushed or pressured into making a decision. A trustworthy organisation would never force you to make a financial transaction on the spot.
  • Never provide your full password, pin or security code to someone over the phone (or via message). If a bank believes a transaction has been fraudulent, they will not ask for this information to cancel the transaction.
  • Listen to your instincts and ask questions if something feels “off".
  • Refuse requests for personal or financial information and stop discussions if you are at all unsure.
  • Contact your bank or financial service provider on a number you know and trust to check if a communication is genuine.
  • Be cautious of unsolicited communications that refer you to a web page asking for personal data.
  • Don’t accept friend requests from people you don’t know on social media.
  • Review your online privacy settings.
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Put some data protection best practices in place:
  • Register with the Cifas protective registration service to slow down credit applications made in your name.
  • Change your passwords regularly and use a different password for every account (a password manager can help with this).
  • Protect your devices with up to date internet security software.

Make a data breach compensation claim

To ensure your data breach claim is successful, you must get professional legal representation. But choosing a solicitor can be daunting. Not least because – should you get it wrong – your decision could prove to be a costly mistake.

For the best chance of winning, contact the Keller Lenkner UK data breach team. Specialists in data breach law, we understand what it takes to make a successful data breach claim, regardless of the type of organisation involved.

Contact Keller Lenkner UK’s expert data breach lawyers to discuss a data breach claim.

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