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Grinch Protection: Tips for safe online shopping

Jen French
December 16, 2016 06:50 AM

Thanks to internet retailers, home-delivered presents are a mouse click away. However, shopping online isn't always safe. It's not hard for a hacker to find your financial information so he can cash in on your Christmas.

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There's one thing many online customers usually put off doing.

"A lot of people will click update later and just keep clicking update later," said Kevin Schmittle, a New Mexico Tech student.

Updates for your computer don't always get downloaded. Cyber experts like Schmittle say outdated software gives them a window to see what you're doing.

While KOB’s Jen French helplessly watched, from his computer Kevin overtook hers and re-wrote a letter to Santa.

These guys aren't just college students. They're crafting a cyber security administration class that will be available for New Mexico tech students next semester. Maxwell Hill is also training to help companies and the government fight hackers.

"If you want to type this out, this is all you need to type,” Hill said.

Hill demonstrated how to guess someone's password in seconds with a computer algorithm.

"So, the longer your password is, the more possibilities there are for the opponent to guess," Hill said. 

To protect yourself, pick a long password with at least 14 characters and symbols so it would take a computer millions of years to guess it.

Also, update your software. That goes for your smartphone apps. When a patch is needed, it's because someone found a hole.

Credits

Jen French

Copyright 2016 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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