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We're most worried about personal information, credit getting hacked

Flickr member Sean MacEntee

A new Gallup poll shows hacking is the number one crime concern for Americans. Nearly 7 in 10 surveyed say they're most worried about having their credit card information stolen by hackers at retail stores.

Second on the list—at 62 percent—are those concerned about having their computer or smartphone hacked and that information stolen by unauthorized persons.

Professor Zachary Peterson is with Cal Poly's Computer Science Department and the first person hired at the University as part of a system-wide effort to combat cyber hacking. He says the University is working to stay one step ahead of the criminals and the school has a new, specially-constructed lab just for this purpose.

The lab is designed to be "as real as possible" the professor said. "It's configurable so we can disconnect it from the campus network, and so this allows us to do things like look at live malware without having to worry about infecting the entire campus."

Peterson says Cal Poly students are getting a hands-on look at the many facets of computer security. He also says computer security is a booming business and the University is working to be on the cutting edge with new innovations.

Consumers are often in a rush to install the latest computer networking systems without taking the appropriate security steps to keep their information safe, according to Peterson. He also says payment methods—like the new Apple Pay—are the wave of the future for in-store credit purchases because of the advancements over single magnetic stripe card technology.

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