If it feels like data breaches are occurring more frequently, it’s because they are. There were 579 reported data breaches in 2014, a 27.5 percent jump from the year prior, research shows. In California alone, 18.5 million of its 38 million residents – close to half – were affected by hackers last year, according to a report by the state’s attorney general.

These numbers aren’t surprising, considering that headlines everywhere trumpet the ordeals of major corporations like Target, Neiman Marcus, Home Depot, Anthem and many more, putting data security front-and-center in the public consciousness.

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