BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Cyber crooks gather their victim’s personal data and use it against them, whether that means taking their money or stealing their identity.
According to published reports, colleges and universities have become big targets for hackers, especially internet thieves in China.
The reason? Intellectual property.
“Universities do all of the research, so a lot of innovation comes out of there,” said David Powell, the vice president of TekLinks. “A lot of companies have been started from universities – here in the biotech industry and others.”
That doesn’t take into account the high amount of personal data on system computers from students, faculty members and staff.
Powell says aside from not using public WiFi to send sensitive information and pay bills, or locking up the computer and cleaning the browsing history, there is very little that can be done to avoid the hacking.
“Everything we do is online. You electronic medical records are online. Your educational records are online. Your bank records are online. We love that from a convenience standpoint,” Powell explained.
He says the only choices are to go off the grid or do the best you can to protect yourself.
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Copyright 2013 WIAT-TV CBS 42