North Carolina sees record year in data breaches in 2021

More than 2 million North Carolinians were affected by data breaches in 2021.
Published: Feb. 6, 2022 at 5:20 PM EST
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Technology is constantly evolving, especially with many workplaces and schools switching to virtual methods. Those changes open the door for the threat of data breaches, and 2021 was a record-breaking year for them.

“Under state law, whenever a business or government experiences a data breach, they have to report it to my office,” said North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein. “We had more reports, over 2,000 data breaches occurred in North Carolina. More than any other year in history.”

More than 2 million North Carolinians were affected by data breaches in 2021. That number broke the record for the previous year for the 12th straight year in a row.

Breaches on businesses in North Carolina made up over 50% of the data last year. However, these numbers don’t come as a shock to Attorney General Stein.

“It’s not entirely surprising because we’re moving so much of our lives online,” said Attorney General Stein. “The more we live online, however, the more at risk our personal information is.”

Stein’s office offers these tips to protect yourself against an attack:

  • Update your anti-virus software regularly
  • Using legitimate websites when you’re online
  • Not clicking on web links unless you know they are safe
  • Training employees on cybersecurity practices

“It’s absolutely imperative that organizations, businesses, and governments do a better job safeguarding our personal information,” Stein says.

If you think that you or your business has been a victim of data breach, Attorney General Stein urges you to report it to his office. Find out where to do that by clicking here.

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