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Hackable holiday gifts - KOAM TV 7

Hackable holiday gifts

Updated:
JOPLIN, MISSOURI -

Earlier this week, the technology company geared towards children, 'V Tech', was hacked into, with videos, pictures and information stored by children exposed. With technology high on the list this Christmas, parents are encouraged to do their research.

Experts say hacking is a risk associated with any technology, but you can take the proper precautions.

"Go to that vendor's website and see if there's been a security breach. Because they'll be very forthcoming if it is, and they also often offer tips and tricks to close those security gaps if there are any," Stacey Conner, Intel's Online Safety Expert said.

Wi-fi networks are also an area for breach of security.

"It's the holidays, everybody is traveling, everybody wants to remain connected, and sometimes we do so and connect to a wi-fi network that might be risky, so taking a little bit of extra time to make sure you're on a secure network to either use these devices or even purchase them in the first place is really important," Conner said.

A conversation with your children about what is and is not okay to divulge online is also necessary.

"So if you're giving one of these types of devices, it's a great great opportunity to have a conversation about, here's the kind of information you want to talk about and here's the kind of information that we don't give out in this house," Conner said.

Kendall Brown-Rooney, a senior IT student at Missouri Southern State says one of the most under-stated security tips is to constantly update your applications. Devices may be hacked, but regularly, it's the applications you put on your device.

"Sometimes these tablets and other devices may not have the most up-to-date software, so making sure that everything is installed and up-to-date is going to be your first priority," Brown-Rooney said.

Should your technology get breached by cyber criminals, you run the risk of losing your credit card information, home address, and even your social security number. Conner said to check the manufacturer's website regularly for security breaches to keep you and your family protected.

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