Not all breaches are caused by criminals exploiting security vulnerabilities of companies. Sometimes, people’s info is exposed on the web when an employee of the company mishandles it or inadvertently leaves it unprotected.
If a company fails to protect your personal information and it ends up in the wrong hands, you could receive money as compensation. This is especially true if the breach was by an organization with whom you have a contract or agreement.
The GDPR gives you the right to claim compensation from an organisation if you have suffered “material damage” (e.g. you have lost money) or “non-material damage” (e.g. you have suffered distress) due to its violation of data protection law.
The Information Commissioner’s Office – ICO – the UK’s independent overseeing organisation tasked with enforcing data protection laws, can help you with an assessment, advice, and information about how to do it. The ICO also opens official investigations and fines organisations found to have breached data protection laws. For example, in 2021, HIV Scotland was fined £10,000 for incorrect use of BCC in an email containing personal data, in which the email addresses of 105 patient advocates were revealed through incorrect use of BCC, including 65 identified them by name.
Data breaches frequently expose personal information such as credit cards, bank details or other financial information, ID/ passport numbers, driver’s license information, home addresses, phone numbers, medical records, and more.
Searching online for this information about yourself is time-consuming and inefficient. It’s unrealistic to think someone will happily set up a day per week in the calendar to look for potentially breached personal data.
Instead, you could use a monitoring service, such as Digital Identity Protection, specially created for detecting your exposed information on the web, as well as in places you cannot easily get on your own – such as the Dark Web.
Digital Identity Protection only needs your email address and phone number to crawl data leaked from breaches to see if your information was exposed.
Should you find such a service helpful, check out Digital Identity Protection.
Cristina is a freelance writer and a mother of two living in Denmark. Her 15 years experience in communication includes developing content for tv, online, mobile apps, and a chatbot.View all posts
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