When a company or organisation you deal with has suffered a data breach, it’s important for you to take steps to protect yourself.
A data breach occurs when someone unauthorised is able to access your personal data. It can be caused by an internal mistake or an external attack. For example, a staff member at the Public Health of Wales accidentally published the personal details of over 18,000 Coronavirus patients on a public server instead of a private server. In contrast, a highly sophisticated cyberattack exposed the personal information of millions of EasyJet customers.
If you have been affected by a data breach, it’s likely personally identifiable information such as your name, email, phone number, bank details or even medical information has been exposed.
In the wrong hands, your personal data can be used in damaging ways.
Below are some risks you face after a data breach:
- Identity theft
- Unauthorised transactions from bank accounts and credit cards
- Unauthorised subscriptions using your personal details
- Phishing attacks to gain more information
Here are 7 steps you should take immediately to avoid falling victim:
- Contact your bank and credit card companies straight away. It’s worth cancelling any debit/credit cards and asking for replacements.
- If you use the same password in more than one place or for all your accounts, you should change your password and have a unique password for each account. It can be hard to track, but there are plenty of free password managers available. Set up two-factor authentication wherever possible.
- Be wary of any phone calls you receive asking for your personal details. To be certain about the identity of the caller, find the organisation’s number on their official website and ring them back. Use a different handset or mobile where possible.
- Review all your statements and ensure there aren’t any transactions you don’t recognise or authorise. Scammers often start off with small transactions then increase it if there has been no detection.
- Register with the CIFAS (fraud prevention service). This service can slow down any credit card applications. Scammers often try to set up credit card and mobile phone contracts in the victim’s name.
- Keep any and all evidence from the organisation where your personal data was breached. This will prove useful if you decide to claim compensation.
- Lastly, monitor your credit file for suspicious/ unrecognised activity.
A data breach can be stressful and confusing to deal with, but if you follow this guidance, it’ll help to stop you from suffering further losses.
Kazient Privacy Experts offer bespoke Data Protection, Privacy and GDPR compliance solutions in a language you understand to UK and international organisations, and has received positive media coverage across Europe. Kazient’s GDPR consultants are fully certified to be your outsourced Data Protection Officer or EU Representative. Get in touch to find out how we can help your business by visiting our website www.kazient.co.uk or calling us on 0330 022 9009.