Here’s What to Do If You’ve Been Caught Up in A Data Breach
When a company becomes the victim of a data breach, financial records and personal information become compromised, often leading to identity theft and fraudulent charges.
With the increasing resourcefulness of threat actors, it’s more important than ever to deal with security threats, which comes by understanding how cybercriminals get in and developing measures to deal with entry points to minimise the risk of a data breach ever happening.
The most worrying potential outcome is when sensitive information is disclosed, and consumers will stop using the organisation’s service after the incident.
Data breaches are still rampant across organisations, so your personal information can be compromised.
Although it might feel that the situation is out of hand now, there are things you can do to protect yourself. With that in mind, the best thing to do is to stay on top of digital security basics:
Table of Contents
Find Out What Information Was Compromised
As a rule, data breaches involve the theft or loss of private information, such as credit card/banking details, personal medical data history, passwords, PINs, social security numbers, contact details (name, address, email), etc.
Since no place is safe or invincible against malicious actors looking to steal your personal information, you need to find out if you were part of a data breach. Don’t wait until the damage is done.
The company should send a data breach notification and let you know what happened. If this doesn’t happen, don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Notifications of data breaches to GDPR regulators increased modestly, yet fines climbed to billions of euros, with Big Tech taking the brunt of penalties. Companies have been driving a wedge between them and consumers by misusing the data they’ve collected, facing a surge in lawsuits.
For more details about data breach compensation, please visit https://www.databreachclaims.org.uk. As an at-risk customer, you should be informed in the days or weeks following the data breach to address your questions and concerns.
The organisation should publicly disclose the incident or at least provide protection and support at this vulnerable time.
Change All Your Passwords
Your login credentials may be in the hands of a cybercriminal, so it’s best to change your passwords and use two-factor authentication to secure your private information. Prevent cross-referencing with stolen data from other breaches by changing your email and passwords.
If you find it impossible to connect to your email account, it’s most likely that someone has taken it over, so contact your email provider immediately. Threat actors will use your email and passwords to get into all your accounts, so lock out intruders by changing your login credentials.
Keep A Close Eye on Your Accounts
Stolen data can be any personal information saved on a shopping website, from passwords to credit card details. If your personal information was exposed in a data breach, there’s a good chance it’s on the Internet, so you must be vigilant and look for signs of theft and fraud.
Start with monitoring your financial statements for actions you didn’t take. It’s recommended to activate real-time alerts for your account to receive instant notifications if there’s suspicious activity. Emails, SMSs, or app alerts will inform you of your available account balance, credit/debit card usage, and so on.
Perhaps unfamiliar devices have access to your online accounts. The presence of unrecognised devices attempting to access your accounts is a non-negligible threat, so you should remove the devices and change your password right away. It’s also a good idea to upgrade your account to two-factor authentication if you haven’t already done so.
Even if you have a tight schedule, make time to conduct a security review on your most sensitive online accounts. Remember that there may be some legitimate reasons why your history can show you unfamiliar locations, such as the Internet provider using a proxy server.
Request An Extended Fraud Alert
You’ve trusted the business to be thoroughly prepared to respond quickly and efficiently to data breaches, and you have a right to know what’s going on – in other words, if your data has been affected today, not in a month or two. The outcome of the incident is determined by the speed of the notification and the quality of the response.
Fraud alert messages will notify you if someone uses your information without your consent. Don’t waste any more time, and contact credit reporting companies so that you can place a fraud alert or security freeze on your report.
Watch Out for Phishing Emails
What’s inside your mailbox can be an indicator of identity theft. Be on the lookout for credit card statements or letters from agencies you don’t recognise. Scammers may use email to trick you into giving them personal and financial information. The difference between a clumsy email and a professional one is personal information.
The data that hackers stole from the organisation about your hometown, education, and places you’ve visited recently allows them to craft convincing messages impersonating your co-workers, your employer, or an old friend. Even if the spam filter keeps the emails out of your inbox, additional layers of protection are needed.
Not all security incidents are created equal, but most of them result in personal information being revealed, which can be used as leverage for future attacks, like phishing, to obtain more valuable information.
The criminal’s aim is to make you click on a malicious link, download malware, or reveal personal information. It’s recommended to use security software to protect your devices, set up two-factor authentication on all accounts, and back up your data by copying your computer files and mobile device data.
If a business, service, or organisation falls victim to a data breach, that doesn’t mean you’re automatically a victim as well. There’s a chance that your personal information hasn’t been caught up. Still, it’s best to act as if it was.
There are several remedial ways to prevent the misuse of information, as highlighted earlier. By acting quickly, you can minimise and even prevent damage. If you’ve been the victim of identity theft, you can rightfully claim compensation and demand assistance to protect your personal data.