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Protecting your privacy online in the wake of a data breach: Maurice Blackburn

Optus’ recent data breach has left around 10 million customers (approximately 40% of the population) worried about their private data and the potential illegal activity it could be used for if accessed by hackers.

Many Australians sadly didn’t have long to wait: in the weeks since the Optus data breach a number of other companies have had cyber security breaches, including Medibank, Vinomofo and MyDeal (owned by Woolworths), compromising millions of customers’ information.

How do I know if my identity has been stolen?

Unfortunately, people often find out their identity has been stolen the hard way – they notice unexplained charges or withdrawals from their bank account, new credit cards they didn’t apply for or their application for a loan is unsuccessful due to a bad credit score.

What can I do if I think my information has been exposed?

A useful website for finding out if your email or phone number has been in a data breach is Simply enter your email or phone number in the search bar and it will tell you which breaches you were ‘pwned in’. 

What can I do to protect my data from future breaches?

It is the responsibility of companies to ensure that your data is safe and protected from any privacy breaches.

Don’t click on links in suspicious-looking emails or text messages. Never provide personal information over the phone (legitimate companies will never ask you to read out your password or pin). There’s no such thing as being too cautious, so if something feels off, be sure to trust your gut.


What are my rights if my data is breached?

If you have been a victim of identity fraud, you can report this to the police and also appeal with your financial institution to rectify any unauthorised purchases or loans.

Our class actions team is investigating potential legal action against Optus on behalf of millions of current and former Optus account holders.

If you or someone you know has been affected by the data breach, you can register your interest to be involved in the class action. It costs nothing to take part and you will receive updates about the investigation into any potential action and compensation you may be entitled to.