Warning signs you’ve fallen victim to data breach

Natural Anchor text in the UK ask for compensation with the support of a solicitor in the UK           https://www.databreachlaw.org.uk/data-breach-compensation/faqs/

You’re spending more time than ever online. Recent studies revealed that adults spend one hour more daily on their digital devices than in 2019. By the end of this year, people will be spending over eight hours online every day. Is it a bad thing? It can be if you let yourself be trapped by the digital reality and don’t carefully protect your data. The most unfortunate consequence of this behaviour is that you’re sharing more personal information with the online resources you visit. Most times, you’re not even aware of your data. How many times have you checked the Terms and Conditions box without reading the long pages of information you agreed to? If you’re like most of us, you’ve done it countless times. And this is exactly what cybercriminals expect from Internet users, to leave their data unguarded so they can steal it. 

If you’re browsing the internet frequently, having your sensitive data stolen is quite high. And this is not the scariest part. The most frightening thing is that you may not even know you’re a data reach victim. How did it happen? When did it happen? Was it last month when you purchased a dress online? Or that time when you connected to the library’s open Wi-Fi? There are so many uncertainties when it comes to data breaches. This article aims to clear up some of them by providing information on how to determine if someone stole your sensitive information

Your devices work slower than before

Sure, your smartphone or laptop may be slower due to poor internet connection or old age, but there’s also a chance you downloaded malware that affects its performance. However, if you noticed an abrupt change and cannot blame old age as the cause, you should consider having the device scanned for malware. Run a virus scan to identify any malware that may affect its speed and performance. Cyber security professionals recommend scanning your devices regularly to identify any threats and malware and remove it before damaging your smartphone or laptop. 

You receive fake antivirus messages

Even if they’re not as popular as they were a couple of years ago, fake antivirus messages are still a sign of a data breach you shouldn’t ignore. You may be scrolling the internet and receive a warning that claims the antivirus identified malware and urges you to purchase a product to remove them. If you click on the purchase link, you download a virus that infects your devices and steals information. It’s easy to identify a fake antivirus message because it usually includes several grammatical mistakes or typos and looks like it has been created with Microsoft Paint. Over the last years, cybercriminals have smartened up and upgraded the look of these messages to make it more challenging for internet users to identify them. However, you can still distinguish between a genuine antivirus message and a fake one if you’re familiar with your antivirus software. It’s easy to spot the discrepancies in the colours, logo, and other features characteristic to it. The moment you receive a counterfeit antivirus message, take action against malware and use your antivirus and antimalware to track and clear it out of your device.

If you live in the UK and find out that your data has been breached, you can claim compensation for your mental and financial harm according to the Data Protection Act 2018 and the General Data Protection Regulation. When you know what company facilitated the data breach, you should first complain to the responsible party. In the first instance, you need to clarify what sensitive data was stolen, and then you can ask for compensation with the support of a solicitor in the UK

Unexpected software instals

Your operating system regularly instals updates to improve its functionality and boost security. However, you can easily make the distinction between a genuine software upgrade message and a harmful one. When the device asks for your permission to update the system more often than usual, and the popup windows become annoying, take the warning sign seriously because you may be the victim of a data breach. 

Keep an eye on the programs and apps and the software updates, and if you never heard of them and cannot remember installing or using them, run a scan to identify the malware that causes them to appear on your computer. You can schedule your antivirus software to run automatic scans when you turn on your computer. It’s also recommended to check the list of installed apps and programs regularly and disable and uninstall all unrecognised programs because they may be malicious. 

Unusual card or bank statement activity

Sometimes your device sends no warning signs that it’s the victim of a data breach. But you notice some suspicious activity in your bank account. Even a small discrepancy between your activity and bank statement can indicate fraud because cybercriminals usually first check the validity of stolen cards with small purchases. If you ignore them, they ramp up their activity and steal more. When you notice any unusual bank statement activity, put a freeze on your account and card, contact the bank, and try to find out what happened. Often the mobile banking app allows scammers to get their hands on your financial information. 

You can no longer access your online or phone accounts

If cybercriminals steal your personal data, the first thing they try is to change your login credentials to essential accounts. They can go to such an extent to trick your mobile operator into thinking you changed your mobile device and need it to port your number to the new one under their control. The method is called SIM swapping and can produce extensive damage. If they manage to copy your SIM card, they can intercept all your one-time SMS passcodes and use them to validate your identity into accounts. 

Final words

The first step when dealing with a data breach is not to panic. Contact your card provider, bank, and insurance provider and inform them of the situation. Then report the crime to the authorities and inform the company responsible for leaking your data. 

Interesting Related Article: “What can we learn from some of the biggest data breaches in history?