Our world depends on digital databases. When we provide our sensitive information to places such as financial institutions, stores, and hospitals, we expect that they will guard our digital data responsibly. However, data breaches and cyberattacks to these databases can expose our vulnerable information and put us at risk of financial and personal damages. If you suffer losses as a result of a data breach, you could claim compensation from the company responsible for the breach through a lawsuit with the help of a Las Vegas fair credit reporting act attorney.
What Is a Data Breach?
When we make an online purchase, sign up with a new bank, or even go to the doctor, the company or entity enters our information into a database to benefit the user and client experience. Data breaches occur when a hacker finds a way to exploit vulnerable areas in the database to bypass the security measures that protect our information. As a result, the hackers can have access to credit card information, Social Security numbers, emails, and other personal details you want to remain private.
Data breaches usually occur for one of two reasons. First, a hacker may exploit a company’s database for personal gain. He or she may want to sell the data to make money or use the available financial information to make purchases.
Second, a hacker may want to cause chaos for the company and its users. For example, the famous Ashley Madison hack in 2015 exposed the email addresses and personal information of its users. Since the dating website catered to people who wanted to have extramarital affairs, the data breach caused significant damage to the company’s reputation and damaged the image and personal lives of many of its users.
Possible Damages in a Data Breach Lawsuit
While the company or website where the data breach occurred may not be responsible for the breach itself, filing a lawsuit against the hacker may not be an option. However, you can hold the breached company liable for failure to keep your data safe and the damage you experienced as a result of the breach.
Depending on the type of breach you were a victim of and the damages you suffered, you can claim significant compensation through a data breach lawsuit. Speaking with a Las Vegas consumer protection attorney can help you determine what damages you may be eligible for, which may include the following.
- The cost of replacing your credit and debit cards
- The cost of correcting information damaged by the breach
- Service fees for monitoring and protecting your personal information following the breach
- The cost of credit insurance and credit reports
- Emotional damages associated with the breach, such as an invasion of privacy, emotional distress, damage to credit, and damage to reputation
- Any out-of-pocket expenses you pay due to the data breach
What to Do After a Data Breach
While you could claim compensation for your data breach losses, the court will look at whether you took reasonable steps to protect yourself after the breach. If you did not do so, the judge can reduce your overall award amount. After you experience a data breach, take the following actions to reduce further injury.
- Change your bank account numbers
- Change your passwords on accounts affected by the breach
- Cancel credit cards compromised by the breach
- Contact your bank about any fraudulent charges or unusual activity
In addition, you should save all information related to the breach. Save correspondence with your financial institution, correspondence with the website where the breach occurred, and confirmation that you saved your passwords. Keep track of the activities that occurred during the breach – any changes to your credit, fraudulent charges to your bank accounts and cards, and any other evidence of personal damages.
If you are the victim of a data breach, it is possible to collect compensation through a lawsuit against the company responsible for putting your data at risk. After you have taken reasonable actions to reduce the impact of the breach, contact a Las Vegas data breach attorney as soon as possible to discuss your legal options.