Sacramento, CA — A new report on data breaches found Californians whose personal data was hacked last year jumped six-fold from 2.5 million in 2012 to 18.5 million in 2013.. One-third of those people will become victims of fraud according to California’s States Attorney General Kamala Harris.
“Data breaches pose a serious threat to the privacy, finances and personal security of California consumers,” Attorney General Harris said. “The fight against these kind of cybercrimes requires the use of innovative strategies by government and the private sector to protect our state’s consumers and businesses. I strongly encourage more use of encryption to significantly reduce the risk of data breaches.”
There were 167 different breaches in the state during 2013. Retailer breaches at Target and LivingSocial alone put nearly 14 million Californians at risk. The report found 53% of those breaches were caused by computer malware and hacking.
The report gave these tips for consumers to combat breaches:
- Monitor your credit and debit card accounts for suspicious transactions and report any to the card-issuing bank. Ask the bank for online monitoring and alerts on the card account.
- If a data breach notice says your health insurance or health plan number was involved, contact your insurer or plan and ask them to note the breach in their records and to flag your account number.
- If a data breach notice involves your password or user ID, change both for that account and any other accounts containing the same information.
You can view the full report by clicking here.