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Data Breaches Exposed 24 Million Records Of Californians In 2015

Credit: Tony Webster / flickr

A notification from Anthem about data breach is shown, March 9, 2015.

Aired 2/18/16 on KPBS News.

A new report from Attorney General Kamala Harris says that 178 data breaches last year put 24 million records of Californians at risk.

If you think your electronic records are secure, think again.

A new report from Attorney General Kamala Harris says that 178 data breaches last year put 24 million records of Californians at risk.

Over the past four years, data breaches led to more than 49 million electronic records being placed at risk.

Large data breaches continue to be a problem. In 2015, for example, a massive data breach at Anthem insurance exposed the medical records of more than 10 million Californians.

Hackers reportedly stole a password and broke into Anthem’s database.

The healthcare industry saw 16 percent of the breaches, according to the attorney general's report. Retail saw the highest percentage.

RELATED from inewsource: Medical Data Thievery Ensnares At Least 30,000 San Diegans

Paul Stephens, director of policy and advocacy for the San Diego-based Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, said cyber thieves are becoming increasingly sophisticated.

“When you’re talking about malware and hacking, the entities and the individuals that are up to no good frequently are so far ahead of the enterprises that they are trying to attack," Stephens said.

The new report says Social Security numbers, credit card data and medical records were the top three types of data stolen over the past four years.

CORRECTION: The original version of this story and headline incorrectly said the records of 24 million Californians were exposed in data breaches last year. It should have said breaches affected 24 million records. The story and headline have been updated.

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