Skip to main content
The Real Cost of a Data Breach: Consequences of Hackers Finding Your Details
  1. Home
  2. /
  3. Vault Data Blogs
  4. /
  5. Blogs
  6. /
  7. The Real Cost of...

The Real Cost of a Data Breach: Consequences of Hackers Finding Your Details

In today’s digital age, data breaches are becoming increasingly common, and we all could fall victim to one at some point! According to IBM’s latest findings, the global average cost of a data breach surged to an astonishing USD 4.45 million in 2023, marking a daunting 15% increase over the past three years! Hackers are constantly on the lookout for ways to gain access to our personal information, and the consequences of such a breach can be devastating. In this blog post, we’ll explore the real-life consequences of a hacker finding your personal details online – and we hope it’ll make you be more vigilant where possible!


What is a Data Breach?

A personal data breach is a data security incident where your personal information is used without your consent to do so. Hackers are getting more and more advanced on how they can find out our details – so let’s dive into the many ways that data breaches can occur.

Causes of a Data Protection Breach


Weak and Stolen Credentials (Passwords)

Data breaches often result from hacking attacks, but the entry point is often weak or stolen passwords. Google Cloud’s 2023 Threat Horizons Report found that a massive 86% of breaches involve stolen credentials. The solution is simple: use complex passwords, never share them, and make sure you always have Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) on where possible!

Software Vulnerabilities

Hackers can find ‘holes’ in your apps and software and use them to access your personal data. As a strong line of defence, make sure you’re regularly updating and patching all software and hardware solutions – don’t be tempted to click the ‘ignore’ button when your computer wants to update!


Malware is malicious software that is deliberately created to steal data and cause damage to your computer., Both direct and indirect malware is increasingly used by hackers to exploit systems. You can install anti-malware software, but as a first line of defence to arm yourself against malware, make sure you’re vigilant when accessing suspicious websites or opening emails from unknown sources.

Lost or Stolen Devices

Our online devices contain a wealth of sensitive information which could be exploited for a data breach if they were to fall into the wrong hands. An opportunist could break into your employer’s building and take any laptops they find, or steal your phone out of your bag when you’re not looking on a crowded train. Whilst these situations can be unavoidable, ensure your devices are stored safely or within your sight at all times, and make sure passwords and locks are set to add another layer of protection!

The Real Cost of a Data Breach


Financial Loss

One of the most significant consequences of a hacker finding your details is financial loss. In the UK, cybercrime has become a lucrative business, with losses amounting to billions of pounds each year. For instance, the potential total loss due to identity theft increased to $10.2 billion in 2022, up from $6.9 billion in 2021. In the UK, identity theft is estimated to cost £3.7 billion annually.

At the start of 2022, was subjected to a serious breach. The attack targeted nearly 500 people’s cryptocurrency wallets. Thieves stole $18 million of Bitcoin and $15 million of Ethereum, underscoring the staggering financial losses that can result from a data breach.


Identity Theft

Another significant consequence of a data breach is identity theft. Hackers can use your personal information to open bank accounts, apply for loans or credit cards, and even file fraudulent tax returns. Identity theft can ruin your credit score and have long-lasting effects on your finances.

In 2019, Capital One suffered a data breach that affected more than 100 million customers, including personally identifiable information such as payment history, contact information, and credit scores – making it one of the largest financial data breaches to date. Capital One was fined $80 million and settled customer lawsuits for $190 million, on top of facing raised privacy concerns.


Damage to Reputation

In addition to financial loss and identity theft, a data breach can also have a significant impact on reputation. If a company is responsible for a data breach, it can lead to a loss of trust from customers, damaging the company’s reputation and causing long-term harm to its business.

In January 2023, following a string of ransom attempts and leaks, data on over 200 million X users which included email addresses, names, and usernames was published on a hacker forum. The breach resulted in a loss of trust from users, with many people deciding to delete their Twitter accounts. This incident highlights how even tech giants are not immune to the damage a data breach can inflict on their reputation.


How to Check for a Personal Data Breach

Unsure if your email has been involved in a data protection breach? There are data breach checkers you can use, such as the Vault app’s data breach checker. Simply enter your email and answer a few questions to find out how many times your email has been compromised in a personal data breach, and get a score from 0-999 based on your online data security which updates monthly!



In conclusion, the consequences of a hacker finding your details can be severe, and as the number of data breaches continues to rise, it’s crucial to take steps to protect your personal information. This includes using strong passwords, enabling two-factor authentication, and being cautious about sharing personal information online. Download the Vault app (available on Google Play or the App Store) to learn how to lock down your information and stay informed of risks!