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What Should I Do If My Personal Information Has Been Compromised By a Data Breach?

What Should I Do If My Personal Information Has Been Compromised By a Data Breach?

Have you been contacted by an organisation with a breach notice to say your personal data has been involved in a data breach? Perhaps you have been contacted by someone to say they have mistakenly received your information. This can be an indication that your personal data has been compromised and we explain the steps you can take to seek compensation.

In the sections below we explain what you should do to protect yourself and prevent the impact of the breach being more severe. With credit reports, fraud alerts, monitoring of your accounts and more, you can take a few extra steps to minimise the impact of data breaches.

If you’ve been a victim of a data breach, we can support your compensation claim and introduce you to a No Win No Fee data breach solicitor who will help you present the most comprehensive claim to get you the maximum compensation you deserve.

What To Do After A Data Breach

Organisations and companies need to notify affected individuals of a personal data breach in a timely manner. They should do this through a data breach notification letter. The matter may also need to be reported, if it is a notifiable data breach, to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), the independent body for enforcing data protection rights.

In addition, there are other actions as a data breach response that are recommended such as: 

  • If you heard or read about a data breach that could involve your information, enquire about your suspicions by directly contacting the organisation responsible.
  • If you’ve received a data breach notification, don’t use the links or contact details contained in the communication (as this may be a message sent by potential scammers after the breach has been made public).
  • Do not to engage further with an organisation you do not fully trust as this could be part of the scam.
  • Clarify exactly what information about you may have been breached.
  • Act immediately and stop debit and credit cards that could be affected and discuss concerns with your bank or credit card companies.
  • Change and strengthen account passwords on online accounts (and use unique passwords).
  • Take extra care when opening emails as these could be phishing attempts trying to gain access to accounts for fraudulent activity or even identity theft.
  • Regularly check your bank statements, credit card, and other financial accounts for suspicious transactions — you could use an identity theft protection service to monitor this on your behalf.
  • Make use of any free credit monitoring service offered by the affected company to their customers to keep an eye on any activity on your credit file
  • Consider setting up a credit freeze with the three major credit bureaus to prevent lenders accessing your credit report, meaning anyone trying to set up an account in your name will be unable to proceed.
  • Register with the Cifas protective registration service as this adds additional verification checks to any credit applications or new accounts made in your name to ensure it is actually you.
  • Report any suspicious messages or phone calls about the security breach.

Check If You Can Make A Data Breach Compensation Claim

In order to have valid personal data breach claim the below circumstances must be true: 

  • You can show that the organisation did not comply with their data protection obligations as outlined in the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA) and UK General Data Protection Regulations (UK GDPR).
  • This allowed a breach of your personal information such as your contact details, credit or debit card data, health or other sensitive information.
  • This directly caused you financial damage, emotional harm, or both.

 

With evidence that accidental or deliberate actions on the part of the data controller or processor caused you to suffer in some way, an eligible claim for compensation may apply.

Is There A Time Limit For Data Breach Claims?

There is usually a general 6-year time limit for starting claims for data breaches, taken from the point that you were first informed of the personal data breach. However exceptions can apply. To find out how long you have left to initiate a data breach claim for compensation, call our team today. 

Do I Have to Go to Court in the Case of a Data Breach?

In most instances, it might not be necessary to go to court. The organisation at fault may offer you compensation for the anguish and financial harm caused by the data breach. Before you accept their offer, it is recommended that you consult with a data breach solicitor. This will ensure that you settle for the sort of compensation you are entitled to, especially if the breach has involved particularly sensitive data or has put you at high risk of identity theft or serious harm. 

How Much Will the Court Award In Cases of Data Breaches

The amount of compensation awarded in a successful data breach claim depends on how serious and far-reaching the effects of the breach were to you. Some breaches may be relatively minor, while others can have far-reaching consequences, especially if identity thieves are able to capitalise on the information that has fallen into their hands.

To fully assess the financial and psychological harm that you may have suffered it can be very beneficial to use a data breach solicitor as your legal representative. The input of a skilled solicitor can ensure that all areas of harm, material (e.g. financial losses) and non-material (e.g. emotional distress), are acknowledged.

How Can I Prove My Personal Information Has Been Compromised By A Data Breach?

Should an organisation suffer a data breach, then, if this affects your rights and freedoms they must inform you of this without undue delay with a letter of notification. This can be used to show that your personal data has been compromised. They must also inform the Information Commissioner’s Office about the breach. If the ICO decide to investigate and potentially fine the organisation, their findings could be used to support your claim. 

Claim Data Breach Compensation Today On A No Win No Fee Basis

If you would like professional guidance with your data breach claim, get in touch. We can connect eligible claimants to an expert solicitor in this field who offers a type of No Win, No Fee contract called a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). When a solicitor works under a CFA no upfront fees are required, or any fees needed to cover the solicitor’s work as the case progresses. If the claim failed then no solicitors fees are needed for the work completed on the case. If the data breach claim is successful then the solicitor working under a CFA can take a percentage from the compensation at a legally capped rate to ensure you receive the majority of your compensation.

Eleanor Watts

Eleanor Watts is a skilled solicitor who specialises in handling data breach cases and leads the dedicated team at the Data Breach department. Her journey began at the University of Nottingham, where she earned her law degree, and later pursued her masters in law from the University of Law. Becoming a qualified solicitor in 2021 after completing her training, Eleanor's focus turned to data protection and privacy claims, a field she's excelled in since the implementation of GDPR in 2018.

Eleanor Watts

Eleanor Watts is a skilled solicitor who specialises in handling data breach cases and leads the dedicated team at the Data Breach department. Her journey began at the University of Nottingham, where she earned her law degree, and later pursued her masters in law from the University of Law. Becoming a qualified solicitor in 2021 after completing her training, Eleanor's focus turned to data protection and privacy claims, a field she's excelled in since the implementation of GDPR in 2018.

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