Capital One breach the latest example of the growing risk of data hacks

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TORONTO — The Capital One breach is the latest indication of what experts say is a growing problem, as companies hold more personal data and hackers see more ways to profit from it.

Claudiu Popa, a cybersecurity expert with Datarisk Canada, says it’s hard to stop thefts of personal information in part because companies keep finding new ways to gather more and more of it.

He says the breaches are getting so frequent that people are starting to feel jaded and powerless, but that customers should still try and hold companies to account.

Iman Sharafaldin, a researcher at the Canadian Institute for Cybersecurity, says the problem is also growing as hackers have access to more sophisticated methods such as automation, and instructions on how to steal data are becoming increasingly easy to come by on the internet.

Slowing the upward trend of data thefts will be difficult because it is so lucrative for criminals, says Daniel Tobok, chief executive of Cytelligence Inc.

He says customers should be more careful of what data they share, and to ask institutions if they are safeguarding the information through encryption and other preventative means.