Would you know if you’re a data breach victim?

We recently discovered that 21 million Brits1 don’t know that their personal information and bank details have been hacked through a data breach.

Noddle looked at some of the high profile data breaches that have happened in the last two years and then spoke to a selection of customers from some of the companies who’d had a breach.

Over half of those we chatted to (58%2) were unaware that their personal information had been compromised. And only 41% of the people we surveyed knew their service provider had been hacked and had been told of the breach by the company directly. An overwhelming amount (60%) had found out about the breach in the news.

Why wouldn’t you know if you’re a victim of a data breach?

Currently companies can choose whether to tell their customers directly if a serious breach happens, but they are expected to tell the Information Commissioner’s Office.

This will change this year when the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes in. However, until then it’s crucial to be proactive when it comes to keeping your personal information safe.

Data breach protection

If your personal details are stolen, they could be sold on and then used to take out fraudulent credit cards, loans, mobile phone contracts or even a mortgage.

Keep an eye on the news so you can see if any data breaches happen and also remember to regularly check your credit report, so you can look out for anything on there that you don’t recognise.

What should you look out for?

  • Searches run against your credit report that you don’t recognise
  • Financial accounts and short term loans that don’t belong to you
  • Unusual balances on your accounts

If you hear of a data breach at a company that you have an account with, don’t rest on your laurels. Nearly half of those we spoke to (46%) who were likely to have been impacted hadn’t kept an eye on their data after they found out about the data breach.

What to do after a data breach

It’s really important that you change your passwords as soon as you hear of a breach and also monitor your emails/phone calls to see if anything suspicious comes through. Also monitor your financial accounts by keeping check on your credit report regularly, which will make it easier for you to spot if any activity doesn’t look quite right.

For more information around identity theft and keeping safe, visit our dedicated Security area on our blog.

1 Survey undertaken by Noddle through Third City. 77% of the sample are customers of one or more companies which has been breached in the last two years. 77% of the GB population of adults is 36.6m. 58% of those were unaware of breaches, equating to 21.4m.

2 ICM Unlimited interviewed a representative sample of 2,000 adults aged 18+ online, between 13th -17th September Sept 2017. ICM is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.