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Holding extensive quantities of information relating to buyers and sellers, estate agents can be prime targets for hackers. The threat of cybercrime appears to have grown in the past year, with attackers taking advantage of the vulnerabilities created by the coronavirus pandemic, and so estate agent cyberattacks may also represent a growing threat.
However, it is important to stress that hackers do not bear sole responsibility for data security incidents. If businesses and organisations fail to implement the necessary cybersecurity measures, they can be to blame for allowing cyberattacks to access their systems. Such may be the case for estate agencies if they fail to implement rigorous data protection methods.
If this happens, you could be eligible to pursue a claim for data breach compensation now.
Not only do estate agents have properties to keep secure, they must also focus on data security if they are to prevent their operations from being compromised. Estate agents often hold a wealth of sensitive information, which can include:
The details listed above can be of significant value to cybercriminals, who often seek to misuse information like this for profit. For example, they could use personal data for identity theft, to trick victims into falling for scams, or even steal from their bank accounts directly. The risks of estate agent cyberattacks can, therefore, be severe.
Earlier this year, reports emerged alleging that masses of financial information had reportedly been leaked online in the dark web from estate agency Foxtons. The apparent data grab by hackers was reportedly carried out in October 2020 when a malware attack is said to have hit the estate agency, at which point Foxtons Group reportedly claimed that “sensitive data” had not been exposed.
However, it was revealed in February that this might have been far from the case, with reports suggesting that thousands of card details and addresses had been published on the dark web, along with copies of substantial private correspondence. The company was accused of failing to notify customers that the information had apparently been exposed, and a cybersecurity expert warned that many of the affected payment cards were still active.
Of course, the Foxtons incident is one of the estate agent cyberattacks that raises questions about the company’s data protection strategy. It may be that Foxtons failed to implement sufficient cybersecurity defences, in which case they could be responsible for the exposure of data. We do not know until investigations are concluded.
As leading experts in data breach claims, Your Lawyers – the Data Leak Lawyers – has seen the impact of data breaches on employees, customers and other victims of these incidents. We know how worrying it can be to have your personal information exposed, which is why we are here to help those affected by data breaches to claim the compensation they deserve.
The risk of estate agent cyberattacks should not be taken lightly. Where companies have failed to protect personal information, they should be held accountable in accordance with the law. If you have been affected by an estate agent data breach, or any other data security incident, you can contact us for free, no-obligation advice on your potential compensation claim.
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