Covid-19 patients’ data – the risks of exposure
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Covid-19 patients’ data – the risks of exposure

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The Covid-19 pandemic has been widely linked to increased cyber threats, some of which may have involved targetting Covid-19 patients’ data. As a global crisis, it is unsurprising that cybercriminals have been seeking to take advantage of the vulnerabilities that have emerged due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In fact, patients’ medical information has always been a prime target for cybercriminals, given the sensitivity of healthcare records generally. In our previous and ongoing data breach claims, some of the most harmful incidents have been those that have exposed private medical records, often resulting in victims suffering from severe psychological side-effects.

We are close to the year two mark of when the world changed, but the coronavirus pandemic is far from over, so the data security threat to the healthcare sector is still present. However, where healthcare organisations do not have appropriate defences in place, they could still be partially responsible when cyberattacks are successful. If you have been affected by a data breach as a result of the negligence of a healthcare organisation, you could be eligible to claim compensation now.

The risk to Covid-19 patients’ data

There have been many cases of general attacks on hospitals during the coronavirus pandemic, but there have also been cases in which Covid-19 patients’ data has also specifically been put at risk. One of the clearest examples of this was the Public Health Wales data breach of last August, in which the details of over 18,000 people who had tested positive for coronavirus were mistakenly published online.

The exposed personal information included initials, dates of birth, geographical areas, and sex. Although the breach of privacy could have been much more serious had further identifying information been released, the incident demonstrates how human error continues to drive medical data breaches, and how this can affect the lives of the victims.

The threat of hackers and fraudsters

Once medical information is stolen, it can be exploited in a number of ways. Covid-19 patients’ data could be vulnerable to its own unique threats, as criminals could use the context of the coronavirus pandemic to manipulate their victims. For example, they could pose as the NHS or the Test and Trace service via texts or emails, using this guise of a reputable organisation to convince people to hand over personal information.

In fact, some scams of this very nature have already been taking place. And, this has been seen already in the case of the coronavirus vaccine rollout, as scammers tried to convince their victims that they needed to pay for their vaccination.

How much compensation will I get for a data breach?

At Your Lawyers – The Data Leak Lawyers – as leading privacy compensation advocates, we have been recovering compensation for data breach victims for several years. Our experience has given us the tools to maximise our claimants’ compensation pay-outs, such that we have already recovered over £1m in data breach damages to date as of 2021.

Based on our past cases, our average compensation pay-out for data breach claims is approximately (as of 2021) £6,100, which shows how worthwhile it can be to make a claim. Moreover, we are able to offer No Win, No Fee representation to eligible claimants, so there should be nothing stopping you from enquiring about your potential data breach claim.

Get in touch today and let’s see if we can help you now.

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Your privacy is extremely important to us. Information on how we handle your data is in our Privacy Policy

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