Dixons Carphone hit with £500,000 fine after data breach
Dixons Carphone has been fined £500,000 by the data watchdog over a computer hack which compromised the personal information of at least 14 million people.
The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) found that hackers were able to access the names, postcodes, email addresses and failed credit checks of millions of people.
And the data also included the details of 5.6 million payment cards used between July 2017 and April 2018.
The company could have been hit with a bigger fine under new GDPR rules, which only came into effect after the breach started, with fines now allowed to be up to €20 million (£17 million) for a significant breach.
See 30+ Ways to Stop Scams for ways to protect yourself online.
What should I do to protect myself?
Dixons Carphone says it has no confirmed evidence of any customers suffering fraud or financial loss as a result of the hack, but more generally, there are plenty of things you can do to make yourself secure online.
Some examples include:
- Regularly check your accounts. It's good practice to regularly keep an eye on your bank accounts and credit card statements. If you spot anything unusual, contact your provider immediately.
- Watch out for phishing scams. Be alert and watch out for potential scam emails or calls that claim to be from a bank or other business you're familiar with – don't simply assume they are genuine even if they look believable.
- Consider a password manager. The safest way to secure your accounts is to use unique passwords for all your online logins. If this sounds impossible to remember, try a password manager. If you prefer to create your passwords yourself and keep them stored in your own login, see Martin's Password help blog.
What does Dixons Carphone say?
Dixons Carphone chief executive Alex Baldock said: "We are very sorry for any inconvenience this historic incident caused to our customers.
"We have no confirmed evidence of any customers suffering fraud or financial loss as a result."