News of incidents appear in the media all the time, and when it involves an organisation you may interact with, the first question people often ask is: has my data been breached?
Well, it isn’t always easy to tell right away. In some cases, organisations that have reportedly been hit by a cyberattack stay silent for some time before they speak out about it. Some are slow to advise people about what has happened which has led to criticism; Equifax being a classic example of this.
Organisations have a responsibility to inform their customers and clients if their information has been misused or exposed. But with speed being an issue, and some cases involving issues where it’s hard to know for sure who has been breached, people need to be wary.
The big question: has my data been breached?
So, you hear of yet another cyberattack or leak or misuse of private information in the media, and many people want to know right away: has my data been breached?
Contacting the organisation at the centre of the breach isn’t always going to be successful. Many will say that they will inform people when they know, and this can take time. That being said, the GDPR means that people must be made aware within 72 hours of knowledge of the beach, but we know this doesn’t always happen.
We know that some victims of the Ticketmaster data breach – one of the dozens of group and multi-party actions we’re involved with – were informed outside of the 72-hour period. In some cases, like the recent MGM data breach, it has been confirmed that the scale of an incident could be wider than what’s already known.
In fact, last year, TalkTalk revealed more customers were involved in their infamous 2015 data breach. As such, those who asked TalkTalk previously “has my data been breached?” may well have been told that it wasn’t, but it turned out that it was.
We’d recommend people take precautions anyway, especially if a data breach involves a company you interact with or have previously interacted with. Even if you have a closed account, it pays to be wary. Change passwords and keep an eye on your accounts, just to be safe.
There are other ways people can find out if their data has been exposed. The website ‘Have I Been Pwned’ is a resource to tell people if their email address is involved in a range of historic incidents.
In any event, if you can’t get a clear answer when asking a company, has my data been breached, you should take precautions yourself.
What to do
If you have received confirmation that you have been the victim of a data breach, we may be able to represent you for a legal cased on a No Win, No Fee basis.
You can be entitled to claim damages for any distress caused by the loss of control of your personal information, as well as for any losses and expenses which can include money stolen. Data breach compensation amounts can factor for both the distress and for monetary losses.
For free, no-obligation advice, all you need to do is contact our team today and we can normally tell you right away if we can assist you.
IMPORTANT: advice on this page is intended to be up-to-date for the 'first published date'.
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