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Attorney General Releases N.C. Data Breach Report, NCDOJ Offers Tips To Avoid Breaches

North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein recently released the North Carolina Department of Justice’s 2023 data breach report ahead of Data Privacy Day, which was this past Sunday (January 28). In 2023, more than 4.9 million North Carolinians were affected by a record 2,033 data breaches.

In North Carolina, businesses and organizations that fall victim to a data breach are required to report the breach and the information that was compromised to the North Carolina Department of Justice. Here are helpful tips on how to protect your devices and networks from data breaches:

Regularly update your antivirus and security software on your phones and computers. Don’t forget about your other smart devices, such as watches, TVs, and tablets.

Don’t open emails, click links, or download attachments from unverified senders.

Examine an email closely before you act – do the email address, the subject and content, and the attachments or links seem authentic? Are they coming from people you know and email addresses you recognize? If you’re not sure, contact the company or person directly to ask.

Use strong passwords and change your passwords and security questions regularly.

Use different passwords for your various accounts and websites so if one is compromised, it won’t give someone access to other accounts.

Don’t use public Wi-Fi to make purchases, access your bank accounts, or log into any websites that have personal information. Public Wi-Fi networks are not secure, so they’re much more susceptible to hackers.

Have a plan in place for how you or your organization will respond to a ransomware attack. Make sure to include a plan on how to properly notify employees, customers, or other people whose data you store.

You can view the data breach report at https://ncdoj.gov/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/2023-Data-Breach-Report-Final-1.pdf. If you believe you may have been the victim of a hack, request a free security freeze, contact our office, and monitor your credit report and bank accounts for errors and irregularities. To learn more, visit www.ncdoj.gov/securityfreeze.

[News release from the North Carolina Department of Justice (NCDOJ)]