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Sacramento, CA — The California Attorney General says an alarming number of residents are becoming the victim of hackers and data breaches.

A report by Kamala Harris states that 18.5 million Californians were the victim of data breaches in 2013, and around 1/3 of those will eventually become victims of fraud.

53% of the breaches were the result of computer intrusions, such as malware. 7.5 million of the residents impacted were a direct result of security breaches at large retailers Target and LivingSocial.

“Data breaches pose a serious threat to the privacy, finances and personal security of California consumers,” says Harris. “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.”

Compared to 2012, the number of Californians impacted by data breaches was up 600%.

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