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Report: More Californians Vulnerable To Data Breaches

adspackman / Flickr
 

adspackman / Flickr

-By Ben Bergman

This is the second year Attorney General Kamala Harris has detailed the trend of more and more data being stolen, after a 2012 state law required companies to report any breach involving more than 500 Californians.

Last year, there were 167 such breaches, a 28 percent increase from the year before.

18.5 million Californians had their data stolen last year, including 7 and half million unlucky enough to be victims of two very large incidents at Target and LivingSocial.

The most frequently stolen and lucrative data for thieves are social security numbers, which accounted for nearly half of incidents.

And the most common way to steal data is malware and hacking, which happens almost twice as often as physical theft, like someone stealing a laptop.

So what should you do? Harris offers the standard advice: Monitor your credit and debit card accounts for suspicious transactions and let your bank know right away if you see anything amiss.