Millions of Californians are being affected by data breaches

The personal records of more than 18.5 million people in California, nearly half of the state’s population, were put at risk last year due to cyber intrusions and various other data breaches, according to Reuters. That number is almost 600% higher than it was in 2012 and 1/3 of those affected will become victims of fraud.

According to Greenwich Time, 167 different data breaches were reported in California in 2013 by retailers, banks, health care providers, and numerous other organizations. This staggering increase in data breaches is due to poor information security, and the numbers were boosted by the data breaches at Target stores and Living Social.

“Increasingly, highly sophisticated criminal organizations and state-sponsored entities — located as far away as Russia, China and Eastern Europe — are responsible for breaches,” California Attorney General Kamala Harris said on Tuesday in a new report on data breaches in the most populous state in the nation, according to WLFI.

Harris called for increased use of encryption by companies and agencies in order to protect the information of their customers, saying that data breaches “pose a serious threat to the privacy, finances and personal security of California consumers,” and added that she “strongly encourages more use of encryption to significantly reduce the risk of data breaches.”

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The personal records of more than 18.5 million people in California, nearly half of the state’s population, were put at risk last year due to cyber intrusions and various other data breaches, according to Reuters. That number is almost 600% higher than it was in 2012 and 1/3 of...