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When a data breach affects any business or organisation, customers often bear the brunt of the data exposure, particularly at companies where consumer data is integral to business operations. The number of consumer data breaches was already elevated in 2019, and the added factor of the coronavirus undoubtedly exacerbated the data protection threats to businesses in 2020.
While consumers may often seem powerless in the face of huge companies, the law can allow you to assert your right to proper data protection in the event that you do fall victim to a data breach. Any company that fails in its legal data protection duties could be obliged to pay compensation settlements to the victims, so contact us if you are interested in starting a data breach claim.
The prevalence of data breaches can often be underestimated due to it sometimes being an invisible and intangible threat. However, a study of 2019 data breach statistics highlighted how high the risk is in the UK, revealing that almost 60% of Brits had been affected by a data breach in that year alone.
As cybercriminals continue to develop more sophisticated ways of carrying out data theft, it appears that this risk will only worsen.
In fact, the added element of the coronavirus pandemic has also been pinpointed as a reason for the wide-reaching impact of data breaches in 2020. While it is difficult to put a number on exactly how many consumer data breaches may have been provoked by factors related to the Covid-19 outbreak, it has been widely argued that cybercriminals have seen the pandemic as a prime opportunity to prey on vulnerable businesses and consumers. Remote working has also left businesses more exposed to attack, with reports that many failed to successfully apply their existing cybersecurity and data protection measures to the home environment quickly enough (or, at all).
When a consumer falls victim to a data breach caused by a business, the effects can be significant. In one of our current group actions, we are representing victims of the Virgin Media data breach, which involved the accidental exposure of postal addresses, email addresses and phone numbers belonging to 900,000 people. Victims have since been potentially vulnerable to scams and fraud attempts that could be carried out by criminals, whether through phishing emails or scam calls. In many such scams, cybercriminals are aiming to tempt further personal data out of their victims, such as identity documents or bank account details.
In other breaches, the extent of sensitive information exposed can be even greater. An example is the Equifax data breach, which saw the exposure of partial credit card numbers and account security details (e.g. secret questions and answers) in some cases.
Many victims can feel vulnerable and distressed following consumer data breaches, which is why we are here to support victims in this difficult time. You may be able to claim compensation for your involvement in a data breach, receive compensation for any distress suffered, and claim back any financial losses or expenses incurred. We work hard to put forward a strong case in order to win the maximum compensation amount possible, and the claim process can be stress-free for our clients.
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