Only a while ago British Airways were investigating the theft of customer data from its website, ba.com, and their mobile app, which occurred between August 21, 2018, and September 5, 2018. The stolen data included personal and financial details of customers making bookings and changes on the BA website and the airline’s app. They ensured everyone the data did not include travel or passport details, but the personal and financial details of customers making bookings on the website and mobile app was compromised. The theft has been reported to the authorities and apparently, the website is now working normally.
Only customers who made bookings between the named dates are affected, including names, billing address, email address, and all bank card details. This seems a lot, and as we see, it could happen to anyone, even to the biggest companies with rock-solid infrastructure.
Stop Identity Theft (Call, Ask, Check)
If you have doubts, that you have been affected by a breach, be proactive and protect your identity – by taking further steps. You can wait until your financial institution notifies you that your data was involved in the breach, or you can act first. If your debit or credit card number was exposed, you need to replace it. Call the number on the back of your card to let the issuer know what might have happened and why you want your card replaced.
This breach is a reminder that you should regularly review your credit card and bank statements, looking for unfamiliar activity. If you see a transaction that isn’t yours — no matter how small — contact your financial institution immediately to let them know.
Also, an important fact everyone should know – it is safer to use credit cards instead of debit cards when making purchases. Apparently, debit cards can give fraudsters direct access to the money in your checking account. With a credit card, the transaction doesn’t directly involve your bank account.
How to Protect Personal Data and Prevent Data Breach – What Comes First?
There are a number of signs to look out for that may indicate that you might have been a victim of identity theft:
• Receiving bills or receipts for goods or services that you haven’t ordered.
• Post from your bank or utility provider doesn’t arrive.
• You apply for state benefits but are told you are already claiming.
• Refused financial services, credit cards or a loan, despite having a good credit rating.
• Receiving letters in your name from solicitors or debt collectors for debts that aren’t yours.
If you think that you might be a victim of identity theft, then you should:
• Inform your bank, building society and credit card Company of any unusual transactions on their statement.
• Request a copy of your credit file to check for any suspicious credit applications.
• Report the theft of personal information and suspicious credit applications to the police and ask for a crime reference number.
• If fraud has been committed, contact authorities’ immediately!
From 25th May 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) introduces a requirement for organizations to report personal data breaches to the relevant supervisory authority. If the breach presents a risk to the affected individuals, organizations must do this within72 hour of becoming aware of the breach.
And you also have a right to obtain a copy of any information relating to you kept on computer or in a structured manual filing system or intended for such a system by any organization. All you need to do is write to the organization and request, under the GDPR, a copy of the personal data it holds in relation to you. You can find the whole procedure explained and with examples on https://www.dataprotection.ie, and don’t forget to follow our Blog.