The state of California received some 131 reports of data breaches last year as firms are failing to adopt best practices for data security.
A report from Attorney General Kamala Harris found that some 2.5 million citizens had their data put at risk from the leaks, many of which would have been preventable had companies used basic security practices.
According to the report, as many as 1.4 million people would have been protected from the breaches had the firms handling their data simply encrypted the information before moving it off-site. Lack of encryption was blamed for 28 percent of the reported leaks.
“Data breaches are a serious threat to individuals’ privacy, finances and even personal security,” said Harris.
“Companies and government agencies must do more to protect people by protecting data.”