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February 19th, 2010
06:00 PM ET

Is the Internet a secure place to transact business?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Before you go online to shop, pay your bills, check your bank statement, or even send an e-mail... stop and consider this:

More than 75,000 computer systems at 2,500 companies worldwide have been hacked. A Virginia security firm - Net Witness - says it could be one of the largest and most sophisticated cyber-attacks ever discovered.

It began late in 2008 and wasn't found out until last month.

The attack targeted everything from corporate information to e-mails, credit card and login information.

Hackers went after companies in the health and technology sectors... educational institutions, energy and financial firms, ten government agencies and Internet service providers.

It's very scary, when you consider some of these industries should know a thing or two about computer security.

It's believed the hackers got employees at these targeted companies to download infected software - or got them to open e-mails with infected attachments. From there, the attackers could commandeer the users' computers - stealing passwords to banking and social networking sites, which then helped them hack into other computer systems and on and on...

Experts say this attack points up that traditional security approaches just aren't working anymore.

Meanwhile news of this attack comes after it was revealed computer networks were compromised at Google and more than 30 other big companies.

Google says that attack originated in China.

I wonder how safe the computers that have to do with national security are?

Here’s my question to you: How confident are you that the Internet is a secure place to transact business?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

H. writes:
After working as a web designer and hosting websites for years on my own linux servers, I have very little confidence in the safety of the Internet. Regarding national security: I believe we're sitting ducks, and it's just a matter of time.

Jude writes:
The Internet was never a secure place to transact business. Even with all the anti-spy /anti-virus software out there, it’s no match for these hackers. I was a victim of online banking theft in which I lost money due to cyber-hackers. I no longer do online banking nor would I advise anybody to do so.

Santosh writes:
Financial transactions are always risky online, but we do not have a lot of choice. It is faster and easier. Not only that, but many financial and utility corporations have gone paperless and we have less chance to avoid the hackers.

Greg in Cincinnati, Ohio writes:
I am a computer network engineer and I can tell you first hand that the Internet is NOT a safe place to conduct any kind of personal business on. There are special programs out there, designed by convicted computer hackers, that will seek all of the personalized items that you include in bank statements and even tax forms that are sent to the IRS via e-mail. People who don’t think there are types of programs are very naive and are victims just waiting to have their identity stolen or even worse.

Mick writes:
The Internet is quite a safe place to transact business, if you continue using secured web sites. I am not concerned.

Hank writes:
Faced with the choice of risking my online transactions getting hacked and navigating down expressways filled with bad drivers and road rage, I'll stay home and log on.

Craig in Tampa writes:
Well, I just bought a new TV, Tivo, stereo and some nice rims for my ride. Thanks, Jack, for leaving your computer on.


Filed under: Internet
soundoff (153 Responses)
  1. Tina Texas

    I gringe everytime I buy something online praying some slug does not hack me or the website I am buying from. I do not like to make business deals over the internet cause there is way too much fine print to read.

    February 19, 2010 at 3:55 pm |
  2. David Sisters OR

    Yep do it all the time, life entails risks period.

    February 19, 2010 at 4:03 pm |
  3. John from Alabama

    Jack: No, the internet is not a secure place to do business, but we unfortunately live in an instant coffee world. We wanted it done yesterday; therefore, business is willing to risk doing business online and its good name to do business in the blink of an eye. No computer system is secure, and no business is safe from a computer thief.

    February 19, 2010 at 4:10 pm |
  4. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    Jack, on a scale of 1 to 10, about a minus 3.

    February 19, 2010 at 4:15 pm |
  5. Rick McDaniel

    No, it is not a secure place. However, what is?

    The most common place to have a credit card number stolen, is in a restaurant, where the wait person takes your card away from your table, to process your payment.

    The ways to steal your information, are endless.

    February 19, 2010 at 4:15 pm |
  6. Joe R - Houston

    It will be secure enough to transact business on it until the government unconstitutionally confiscates the blanket responsibility for security from the individual stakeholders who have a vested interest in maintaining security that's adequate enough to attract new and retain existing customers. Since we apathetic voters have already let the TSA do it to airport security, we're probably too dumb to prevent it.

    The great thing about democracy is that the people get what they deserve — good and hard.
    H.L. Mencken

    February 19, 2010 at 4:17 pm |
  7. JENNA

    How confident are you that the internet is a secure place to transact business?

    I am NOT confident.

    I do not do my banking online and I do not make purchases online.

    Until hackers are a thing of the past, then I will continue to bank and shop locally.. thus keeping my neighbors employed!

    Jenna
    Roseville CA

    February 19, 2010 at 4:21 pm |
  8. S, Michigan

    This question itself makes me worried. My wife has been considering buying some furniture and a treadmill online for a while but she can't get herself to pull the trigger on it due to fears of internet transaction security; so, the sellers and buyers both lose due to not having secure systems.

    February 19, 2010 at 4:25 pm |
  9. Kim Smith, Dodge City, Kansas

    We'll never know until some huge fraud exposes the hidden dangers. My feeling is that it is already too entrenched in our economic psyche to stop it from being highjacked eventually.

    February 19, 2010 at 4:33 pm |
  10. hampster

    About as safe as the back rooms of Canal Street in New York City.

    February 19, 2010 at 4:36 pm |
  11. JW Georgia

    I'm transacting business with you right now Jack. Am I safe?

    February 19, 2010 at 4:37 pm |
  12. Jerry Jacksonville, Fl.

    Somewhat, but always use a card that is covered by fraud and ID protection

    February 19, 2010 at 4:38 pm |
  13. Bizz, Quarryville, Pennsylvania

    I love doing my banking and shopping on the Internet. I am 65 year-old and have bad back problems. It makes it very easy for me to be able to do my business on the Internet. I have purchased strong security for my computer and so far so good. I only do business with well known companies that have good security. I never feel safe but feel that it doesn't matter whether I do business on my computer or not. Because my private information is already on someone else's computer. Whenever you use a credit card, buy a car or home the information goes on someone's computer. I try not to worry about things I cannot control.

    February 19, 2010 at 4:38 pm |
  14. Leslie

    No place is secure in the digital age. So if the criminals break into your account we need to be protected by the insurance companies, Oh I mean that the insurance companies are going to make a mint selling us new insurance

    February 19, 2010 at 4:42 pm |
  15. David Bebeau,Springfield Missouri

    safe as any Jack.You can't live in a box.You do good common sense and security.Watch where you go,keep a low profile and its pretty ok.
    David

    February 19, 2010 at 4:45 pm |
  16. Antonio from Washington D.C.

    Not very confident because the Internet can be unclean like politics.

    February 19, 2010 at 4:49 pm |
  17. Meg from Troy, Ohio

    Jack–
    I have bought and sold items on ebay and used paypal for about five or six years. I've only had one incident that was taken care of by paypal. I buy merchandise from a number of online merchants with confidence. I have found that I need to aware of who I am dealing with and to be aware of phishing. I've found that you can't be gullible and too trusting if you do business online. Actually, you can't be too gullible or anywhere in our world.

    February 19, 2010 at 4:55 pm |
  18. Tom in Desoto, Tx

    I've been banking on line for years as well as purchasing items without a problem. My wife's identity was stolen and she never uses the internet for any type of transaction.

    February 19, 2010 at 4:55 pm |
  19. Paul Round Rock, Texas

    With the computer background I have there is no true secure internet site.

    February 19, 2010 at 5:00 pm |
  20. Russ in PA

    Perfectly secure, except for those that use an insecure system like Windows without proper safeguards, Of course, I'm sure the government and MSM want to scare us all into thinking that the Internet is a dangerous place. So is DC if one doesn't pay attention to one's surroundings.

    February 19, 2010 at 5:02 pm |
  21. David Gerstenfeld

    It is until someone finds a way to break in, & they will with the computer power available today. The movies we watch today about cyberterrorism is going to be hard to stay ahead of.
    David, Las Vegas

    February 19, 2010 at 5:08 pm |
  22. frank

    If you live in rural America, its a godsend. Only stores out here are Wal Mart. How many Bibles do you want to buy anyway. Or their made overseas clothes that fall apart. Or their made in china cheap food. Yeah, internet is safe. Now if we could only get decent doctors....

    February 19, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
  23. Ray in Nashville

    Jack, it's probably not as secure as buying things from a brick and mortar store, unless you pay in cash. Swiping your credit or debit card at a store is not that secure either, neither is having that information stored in the hard drives of businesses. There are crooks out there, and not all of them are in Congress.

    February 19, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  24. Darren - Detroit

    It's very safe, as long as you have a good firewall and and active anti-malware program to avert those nasty identy stealing trojans.

    February 19, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  25. Louise

    Did you see the movie "Eagle Eye"? Now ask that question again. LOL

    February 19, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  26. Bob Louisville

    The internet is not a safe way to make purchases. In order to make purchases you must send your credit card number into cyberspace. As a result it is out there for unknown persons to use.

    This can be disastrous. I speak from personal experience.

    Bob
    Louisville, Ky.

    February 19, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  27. A. Smith, Oregon

    Parents in the US have accused a school of spying on children by remotely activating webcams on laptops. Which the school gladly handed out to all of its students. They of course didn't tell them their keystrokes, webcam, websites were all recorded, checked and being monitored!!!

    A couple from Pennsylvania have filed a lawsuit against a school district which gave laptops to its high school pupils.

    They say their son was told off by teachers for "engaging in improper behavior in his home" and that the evidence was an image from his webcam.

    Lower Merion School District says it has now deactivated a tracking device installed on the laptops. As if that explains this horrific and clearly illegal warrant-less form of eavesdropping which could have very well included child pornographic webcam photos being sent and received by the adults overseeing this intrusive program.

    February 19, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  28. Jim Z..Ft. Worth...Texas

    Jack, it more and more like holding your wallet out in front of you, stuffed beyond capacity with cash, and holding a striped stick in the other, while shouting at the top of your lungs your blind..

    February 19, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  29. Jason, Koloa Kauai

    Nothing is safe. That's why having horrible credit like myself is the way to go. I'd be glad if someone stole my identity, unfortunately nobody wants it. Hackers or anybody else can't take anything from me, because I've got nothing to take.

    February 19, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  30. Michael Alexandria, VA

    Less and less all the time. Remember, the Internet is only open to everyone because we say it is. All pipe to China could be cut rather quickly if they keep letting these things happen.

    February 19, 2010 at 5:49 pm |
  31. david ( seattle)

    if you use gmail , its easy to access your accounts,, in fact , google allows access to your emails so as to target you with saturated advertisements... this is not reassuring...but, selling something legit without the shareholder shakedown from ebay or amazon .com is still entreprenurially goood....

    February 19, 2010 at 5:55 pm |
  32. Lance, Ridgecrest, Ca

    Jack, not very confident at all. I seldom use the internet to transact business issues. Guess that is because I'm "old school" and still write checks, mail bill payments in, and shop locally whenever possible. When I do use the internet, I try to ensure the site is secure, encypted, and I watch closely to make sure my information hasn't triggered any unforseen transactions. Limiting exposure, being careful, and following up are the keys to safety.

    February 19, 2010 at 5:56 pm |
  33. Ezra

    Jack, if they want my $15 they can have it. Oh, and while they're in my online credit card statement maybe they can pay the bill for me; thanks in advance.

    from San Francisco

    February 19, 2010 at 6:04 pm |
  34. Adam Simi Valley, CA

    It's a scary world. Our whole world is wrapped up in electronics. I am not surprised China is subverting us. I can only hope we have someone here doing the same in-kind.

    February 19, 2010 at 6:04 pm |
  35. Ann from Hampton, New Jersey

    Why are people so lazy to go to the post office or mail box or spend the money for a stamp to pay their bills? I want to be better safe than sorry and do it the old-fashioned way. At least what I have will still be mine.

    February 19, 2010 at 6:05 pm |
  36. David

    Not confident at all. New viruses are created and are becoming more and more sophisticated. I am in data security and I still do not pay any bill online ever.

    February 19, 2010 at 6:05 pm |
  37. dan

    Given the breadth of electronic transactions, the question shouldn't be "how safe is the web" but rather, how safe is information in general. Truth be told, you don't have to be online to conduct an "online" transaction. Everything from purchasing fuel at the pump, to doctors appointments result in a "web based" transaction.

    The security infrastructure of the internet itself is imperfect. Just as all security is imperfect. However, having worked for a web retail company, I can say that your information is only as secure as the business' integrity. Most "hacking" or ID theft is a relatively low tech process, usually involving one person who happens to have access to a lot of critical information.

    So what's the best solution? Be your own security. Check your statements, check your credit – and shred shred shred.

    February 19, 2010 at 6:07 pm |
  38. Maria

    Like all things..if you think your idea is foolproof there is always a better/smarter mouse who will make your work obsolete very quickly. I would not do business on the Internet.

    Maria
    Brunswick,MD

    February 19, 2010 at 6:08 pm |
  39. Jim

    I'm certainly not as such as I once was, that's for sure. It seems that every day hackers figure out new ways to get around security software and hack into financial and personal sites. If we don't get a handle on this and soon, online purchases will begin to decline. Sad.

    February 19, 2010 at 6:09 pm |
  40. Shaun

    May not be the safest but its definately the cheapest! I'm all for supporting local business but if I can find something cheaper online you can guess who's getting my business. You can often find big ticket items for hundreds of dollars cheaper than from a local store.

    February 19, 2010 at 6:10 pm |
  41. Terry Gnsbg,IN "Hoosier Hillbilly"

    I won't even tell the truth on it, does that tell you how much confidence I have in it?

    February 19, 2010 at 6:14 pm |
  42. Nikki Martin

    It doesn't matter if it is or isn't. We are all being forced to use it more and more daily. In this horrible economy try to use paper and see how much it costs you

    February 19, 2010 at 6:15 pm |
  43. Paulette in Dallas,PA

    Not confident at all. I never put credit cards or any other important information out on the internet. I never shop on-line.

    February 19, 2010 at 6:16 pm |
  44. dan

    it is not safe but what is??????
    it is the new war.....disrupt living...plus it keeps us little americans scared so the big bad government can protect us...

    February 19, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  45. Scott Stodden

    I make it a habit Jack never to do as much business transactions as possible over the internet. Its not safe, in way should anyone enter there credit card information online unless its some kind of debit card. The internet is a scary world and if you don't know how to use it properly alot of bad things can and will happen!

    Scott Stodden (Freeport,Illinois)

    February 19, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  46. Satya

    The more technological advances we make the more vulnerable we are. I somtimes think we should go to iceage....

    February 19, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  47. Harmohan Singh Gabri

    The real problem is ease of use, when ever people complain about issues like they cannot setup their PC, or have problems remembering their passwords thats when the problem starts.

    Computers come with preloaded software, preconfigured applications and out of the box ready to use approach so that the users don't get bothered, thats where the problem starts.

    We have to take ownership of our computers back from the vendors, thats when the change will happen.

    February 19, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  48. Mat Richter

    Fortunately I am a very little fish in the Internet sea. If I had more assets or was a high profile person I would NOT conduct any business via the web. Reason: it's the hackers that write all the damned commercial software.

    February 19, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  49. KIRK

    Well, is the brick and mortar store safe? Are they ever robbed, broken into, damaged or pilfered by disgruntled employees, or just flat out burned to the ground by criminal operatives? YES? Amazing.

    It happens on the internet also. Welcome to the jungle.

    When the brick and mortar world becomes SAFE- no crime, fraud, theft, sabotage, arson- THEN come back and tell us IT professionals how much worse than you our world is.

    Some people have ill will, and little or no moral principles; some of them know how to pick locks, or toss a fire bottle or cook the books. Some of them know how to crack into computers and steal credit card info, or burn down a website. It is not the web that's the problem.

    It's human nature, and some people's predatory life philosophy. Fix that, the internet AND brick and mortar problem fixes itself.

    February 19, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  50. Michael from Ft. Hood, Texas

    Are you kidding? With the way businesses treat ones confidential information by stuffing it into dumpsters, no one is secure. As a veteran military intelligence officer I would never trust the internet to my private information.

    February 19, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  51. Mari, Utah

    Yes, if you take the proper precautions. There is plenty of software out there that will protect you if you install it properly. The internet is here to stay.

    February 19, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  52. Thanh

    To be realistic, nothing is more secure than a person-to-person transaction of cash. But for today's world, it's rather impractical. The best way to protect yourself is to be smart. Make it a policy not to open suspicious emails or visit suspicious websites. Change passwords regularly. Get script blockers and only approve trusted sites.

    Most of the time, it's the end user that lets hackers and bots infiltrate their system.

    February 19, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  53. Bob Gezelter

    Jack,

    Computers that are actually defense related are not generally connected to the Internet. Critical systems are not even networked outside of their own limited purview.

    The details of this latest attack are still unfolding. While the list of victim organizations is large, we do not yet know the details of the degree of victimization. 75,000 computers is not a small episode, but it is a very small fraction of the computers in many companies. Was each machine attacked individually, or did compromised machines lead to further compromises within the affected organizations.

    Many of these details will be uncovered in due course.

    Overall, the Internet is safe if one takes common sense precautions about protecting one's network, care when opening attachments, and other precautions.

    February 19, 2010 at 6:30 pm |
  54. The Broker.

    "Business? Just trying to get through to you is a problem! I would never use the internet for any product I valued. But I get great fun out of beating up others, who think the internet will advance their beliefs. Still... I will always be here Jack. We have so much Conflicting beliefes. I keep you alive Jack.... When we have nothing to talk about, we soon die of depression.."

    February 19, 2010 at 6:31 pm |
  55. Rick Medina,OH

    Jack,

    Nothing mechanical or electronic is truly secure. As a business traveler, my credit cards have been compromised three times over the years, and not on the Internet. So, every Friday, I go to the bank and withdraw cash for what I think I'll need the following week, and keep credit card transactions of any kind to the minimum.

    Rick, Medina, OH

    February 19, 2010 at 6:32 pm |
  56. lloyd langford

    no financial transactions should be done by internet. no personal information should be given because its unsafe. some internet users have the idea that its safe but some users really don't care that there are hackers and criminals lurking about. you wil receive the rewards of your lack of care.

    February 19, 2010 at 6:34 pm |
  57. Erla Williams .. Arizona

    I never have trusted, the Internet, to be secure, on ANY of MY personal business, or affairs. This is one secure reason, that I wont shop, buy, or do ANY of my bankning business, on MY computer.. I refuse, to ever, type in my Account Number, in reference, to do these things, ...so.. to me, That's an absolute risky ordeal, to put yourself into . I follow thru with an attorney's advise, regarding my Soc. Sec. Number, & that advise was."..NEVER, give that Number, to ANYONE... NO ONE..!! " There's far too many scam artist's out there, let alone , these miserable hackers, that can tear us to pieces, IF we were that stupid, to do this. I'm very strong on my theory here. Many thanks for listening my views on this, Jack...

    February 19, 2010 at 6:35 pm |
  58. Kyle, Irvine, CA

    Jack,
    As long as were not in big business, I think we'll be okay.

    February 19, 2010 at 6:36 pm |
  59. Homeless D in Atlanta

    BOO!

    Did that scare you?

    The part of this whole cyber-attack stuff that scares me is, no matter how much ;security; nthere is at any site the crooks and those who hack just for the fun of it will ALWAYS find a way to do so.

    Now, that makes me wonder. Are the hackers just a lot smarter than the security experts? Or do the security experts just get too confident?

    I try not to be worried about it all the time. I do EVERYTHING online. What keeps me from beinng so scared is that, statistically, I think the chances of someone getting my information or even wanting it are relatively small.

    What DOES scare me is that I feel that the government agencies often are not as well protected as is my laptop, located in my bedroom! Why? Maybe the government is, as usual, too smug. Also maybe the government does not pay their security people enough, and you get what you pay for. (as in the security breach of the VP at the Olympics, or the 'guests; who crashed the White House party!) Oh yeah, and the lap bomber!

    To be more secure our experts need to start thinking more like crooks!

    February 19, 2010 at 6:36 pm |
  60. Allen in Hartwell GA

    Jack, apparently we can't trust any business with our personal information. The best we can do is have credit cards from providers that will track card activity and notify us when something out of the ordinary happens. I helped my wife with her online business for 10 years and we never lost anyone's personal information. I guess it isn't the internet that is the problem.

    February 19, 2010 at 6:39 pm |
  61. Alex in Gig Harbor

    Not very, Jack. I received notice from the VA and US Jobs (the federal jobs site) that they had lost confidential info. So if the federal government can be compromised, businesses are vulnerable.

    February 19, 2010 at 6:39 pm |
  62. Mical

    Jack,
    Generally yes, but as people get more comfortable with the internet, the more are going to try to corrupt it. Just look at society, if it was a perfect system we wouldn't have to lock our doors, have security systems & cameras on everything, or have police. But as with anything human, there's always those who spend more time being destructive vs productive.

    Mike
    Minneapolis, Mn.

    February 19, 2010 at 6:41 pm |
  63. Gigi Oregon

    Absolutely none. It's like playing russian roulette but I'm hooked unless it takes a credit card number. Then I'm with out a doubt able to resist.

    February 19, 2010 at 6:42 pm |
  64. Jeff in Minnesota

    It is secure if you are not complacent about security. That's not only the customer but also the business. Attacks are successful because people and companies do not take the time and effort to be careful. Security is not rocket science and in most cases does not have to cost a fortune, but it does require common sense, something we seem to lack these days. However, security is not perfect – never was, never will be. If it were, banks and art museums would not be robbed and they are likely the msot secure public places we have. The reason security is not perfect is that there are people out there that will do whatever it takes to get the job done. Those people you cannot stop no matter what the security measures you put in place.

    February 19, 2010 at 6:44 pm |
  65. Layne Alleman

    Jack, About as confident as I am about handing a credit card to a $5.00pr.hr. employee at the local Big Box. We've screwed ourselves Jack, every bit of information about ourselves is already on-line, stored in bank, medical, schools, government, ect., ect, mainframes and there is absolutely no way for any of us to get that COMPLETELY erased. We were once again fooled into blindly trusting people who told us, "hey we're smarter than you, nothing bad can happen". Orwell was right, just off by a few years. Layne A. Antioch, Il.

    February 19, 2010 at 6:45 pm |
  66. D. Kisting

    I do mostly e-mailing to friends and play games. I only check, my checking account balance nothing more. I don't order on line.I do not pay bills on line.
    No, I don't think they are safe.

    Dolores/ Michigan

    February 19, 2010 at 6:49 pm |
  67. Lee

    The internet is not secure as it should be. However, we as consumers have some responsibility to protect our personal data and demand it from the varies websites where we shop and pay bills.

    February 19, 2010 at 6:50 pm |
  68. Bob

    The internet will always have its issues. There is no such thing as 100% security on the internet or off the internet. I can get robbed physically or virtually it's irrelevant whether the internet is secure or not. As long as there is no such thing as 100% security in life, there will always be loopholes on or off the internet.

    February 19, 2010 at 6:50 pm |
  69. Eardley Ham

    The security problems that continually plague the internet will never be completely prevented primarily because many users do not use common sense (a significant number of them are incapable of understanding that their foolish habits will lead to security breaches).

    Hardware and software changes could be made that would nearly eliminate the problem however, it would also severely hamper the usefulness of personal computing and the internet for the user community.

    February 19, 2010 at 6:55 pm |
  70. Michael H. in Albuquerque, NM

    1995 just called and they want their fears of the internet back.
    Come on Jack, we've been doing business on the internet, investing in stocks, reading the real news, getting entertainment, and meeting strangers for well over a decade. Guess what, it works great!

    February 19, 2010 at 6:57 pm |
  71. HD

    I pity the fool who steals my identity. Maybe we can swap

    February 19, 2010 at 7:01 pm |
  72. Bill roselius

    I recently had my debit card number stolen by an internet vendor, however, I am not sure which one did it. How do I know if a site is secure and virus free?

    February 19, 2010 at 7:01 pm |
  73. Michael (McAllen, TX)

    The Internet can be a safe place as long as you observe common sense and trust no one. It doesn't matter who is sending you what, you must have a good virus scan software and scan all attachments before you open them... even the ones from your friends. It is also good to use a low credit limit or gift card for Internet purchases instead of your credit card with the $12,000 limit. Again, it is common sense!

    February 19, 2010 at 7:03 pm |
  74. Tom, Avon, Me, The Heart of Democracy

    The Pentagon is hacked into and our government is willing to pay any amount to hire the best minds available.

    No system is secure. We should get rid of nuclear weapons before some crack pot hacks the system and uses them to blow up our nuclear plants.

    February 19, 2010 at 7:04 pm |
  75. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    Im not confident at all trusting the internet is like trusting the government .

    February 19, 2010 at 7:05 pm |
  76. Ronda (from Canastota, NY)

    I've been doing business on the internet for years and never had a problem. The key is to keep a small footprint on the internet. Limit your transactions to 2 or 3 trusted business (preferably local), choose a username totally unrelated to your real name, and change your password often. There will always be hackers and "holes" in the internet, but making yourself scarce gives you a lesser chance to have your identity stolen in that medium.

    February 19, 2010 at 7:08 pm |
  77. scott oneill

    Not only is it unsafe, when you put your business out there on a web site, its there for everyone to steal your ideas. With a clik of the mouse, someone looking for a business or an idea, can say, "Oh look at this, lets do this".

    February 19, 2010 at 7:10 pm |
  78. Theresa

    If you want to do anything the old fashioned way you're looked @ as if you were a dinosaur. It's just like anything else in this society –convenience. We complain about unemployment but take a look–self serve gas,banking,grocery shopping. Now with all that convenience we have self serve arm chair hackers! We only have our self to blame/

    February 19, 2010 at 7:12 pm |
  79. Nate, Seattle, WA

    No confidence at all and I never have. Not that I don't trust the institutions that I have transactions with, but as we all should be aware, these institution's computer systems have never been secure from outside hackers and those that have been hacked refuse to admit it until some investigative reporting makes it known to the public. It's nothing short of a false sense of security to believe otherwise.

    February 19, 2010 at 7:13 pm |
  80. Chanti

    I always prefer to buy online and also prefer online backing because of convenience. I believe most of the servers are secure. If you are afraid of hacking servers then you cannot use your debit or credit card. What if they hack Visa or AMEX Data Servers?

    But I would make sure the website I am using is secured website.

    February 19, 2010 at 7:13 pm |
  81. Robert W. , NC

    I think it is just as secure as handing your credit/card across the counter to the cashier to complete the transaction. You can get "ripped off" anywhere but you have to practice caution and pay attention when you are doing these transactions. Keep your antivirus software up to date. It may be expensive but not having it can be worse. Keep the newest microsoft updates installed. Don't open attachments and be careful what sites you visit online. get a good antispyware software and run it regularly. and again be careful what sites you visit online. Oh yes did I mention be careful what sites you visit online.

    February 19, 2010 at 7:13 pm |
  82. Karl from SF, CA

    I don't worry about doing business or banking online. The hackers are going for the mainframe computers, not my home PC necessarily, as that’s where all my information is. When they look at my bank accounts they know I’m not worth bothering with. Yes, they could take me for a little ride, but they wouldn’t get far as I have ID theft protection so it would be covered and they would probably be caught in the act. It’s worth the money even if you aren’t wealthy.

    February 19, 2010 at 7:17 pm |
  83. Trish in Ohio

    Did you notice that they didn't go after legitimate e-retailers? Security is vitally important with this set of merchants because it hits their bottom line–directly. E-retailers lost just 1.2% of revenue to fraud in 2009 according to an industry publication. Seems that industries who "just" hold information–government, education, financial, etc.– could learn a thing or two from the real masters of on-line security.

    February 19, 2010 at 7:18 pm |
  84. wayne

    It's far less secure than we believe it to be.

    February 19, 2010 at 7:18 pm |
  85. Frank Mylonas

    Kinda shows us that companies are incompetent, and the real brains are the hackers.

    February 19, 2010 at 7:19 pm |
  86. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Some companies do inform their clients.

    To your question : No, unless you are all maxed up on your credit card!

    February 19, 2010 at 7:19 pm |
  87. Bailey

    It is probably as secure as doing business the way it was done in the past. However, all the hackiing that has happened in recdnt times is nerve wracking.

    February 19, 2010 at 7:19 pm |
  88. Mick

    Internet is quite safe place to transact business, if u continue using secured web sites. I am not concerned.

    February 19, 2010 at 7:19 pm |
  89. Don Ritchie

    Hey Jack! It's cool!

    Just wrap your laptop in tin foil and those meanie Chinese hackers can't get into your checking account. It's all good!

    Worry more about handing over your credit card to the waitress you were rude to.

    Don in Louisiana

    February 19, 2010 at 7:19 pm |
  90. Samson Komolafe

    Safe? the question should be is internet the safe place to steal money? Yes! very safe to steal money, Not safe to transact business

    February 19, 2010 at 7:20 pm |
  91. hgovernick

    After working as a web designer and hosting websites for years on my own linux servers, I have very little confidence in the safety of the Internet.

    Regarding National Security: I believe we're sitting ducks, and it's just a matter of time.

    February 19, 2010 at 7:20 pm |
  92. Stephen Charchuk

    Considering what has been happening in America I would say that it is still far safer to do one's business over the Internet than to do it with Corporate America directly.

    February 19, 2010 at 7:20 pm |
  93. JOE COMMON

    WARNING! FEAR MONGER POWER GRAB!! fact is – sites are ver very very secure. CURRENT LINUX servers simply cannot be hacked. banks are secure. websites are secure. if a bank teller robs the drawer suddenly what... banks arent secure? bs. this is just another effort by big money to take over the internet and install pid tracking. nothing but a CONTROL AND DOMINATION issue. how do i know? in the business for 30 years – thats how!

    February 19, 2010 at 7:21 pm |
  94. santosh sitaula

    Financial transactions are always risky online, but we do not have lotta choice. It is faster and easier way. Not only that, but many financial and utility corporations have gone paperless and we have very less chance to avoid the hackers.

    February 19, 2010 at 7:21 pm |
  95. Mike Villavicencio

    Anyone that uses the internet, if they don't know already, should know that privacy is NOT completely secure and there is no antivirus / anti-malware program available in the market that is bullet-proof. Pay attention to what you do on the net and be mindful of what you are doing, after all, computer users are the largest threat to a business's security.

    February 19, 2010 at 7:21 pm |
  96. Fanny from Ga.

    Jack, What do I care if it is not secure? I am so broke there is nothing that any one can steal from me. If they steal from the crooked bankers and credit cards, more power to them. Since real transaction is almst like high way robbery it makes little difference to me.

    February 19, 2010 at 7:21 pm |
  97. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    The internet may be safer to transact business than asking my grandma how she did things when there was no internet.

    February 19, 2010 at 7:21 pm |
  98. David Hamilton

    The internet is just as safe as anywhere else. There are predators in every aspect of the economy. True security is an illusion. Bank software for example, shoots for 99.9999% accuracy and security. If you ask them what it would take to get to 100% they respond "do you know how many more nines that is?"... infinite.

    February 19, 2010 at 7:21 pm |
  99. Daniel Mullen in Germany

    The first problem is that people think messages sent as e-mail are sealed electronic envelopes with the letter inside. The reality is actually like a series of postcards, and just like at the post office, everyone along the way can read – or add to – those messages.

    As to China: after meeting with some companies from China at a technology conference, our servers were attacked on a constant basis. We tracked them to a location in China and wrote a stern letter to the local Chinese embassy. The attacks stopped just a few days later – a cooincidence?

    February 19, 2010 at 7:22 pm |
  100. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    When was doing business ever totally safe?

    There has always been corporate espionage, employee theft, credit card theft, the only difference now is the evil is more clandestine and reported on in the news.

    The issue here is not the internet, but the morality of humanity.

    February 19, 2010 at 7:22 pm |
  101. Mrs. Eileen Curras widow to Hernandez (WWII)

    The Internet has never being a secure place. I remember the old Pc-cillin conbination of hardware and software. The market needs to get organized.

    February 19, 2010 at 7:22 pm |
  102. Bethany

    I honestly think since our world is becoming so revolved around technology it will be the only thing we can do to transact our business information therefor it is our only option.

    Bethany
    Papillion NE

    February 19, 2010 at 7:22 pm |
  103. Andy

    So Fran Townsend (a Republican) thinks the govt should require businesses to let us know if there's been a hack attack? I happen to agree, but how does that jive with the conservative's notion that govt should be smaller, leave us alone, not get into our lives? It just proves what many people are saying, that while we like the idea of govt being less intrusive theoretically, the truth is there are many services, some regulatory, that only govt can and should provide, and we really don't want to lose them.

    February 19, 2010 at 7:22 pm |
  104. Mark Sick

    Using the Internet is perfectly safe if you use the easy to use recommended practices such as using an anti-virus software program. The Kneber virus (also called Zeus) that I believe that you were referring to is easily protected against by the standard anti-virus programs. If you want to drive a car without changing the oil or checking the tires then you probably shouldn't be using a computer either.

    Mark Sick
    West Palm Beach. FL

    February 19, 2010 at 7:23 pm |
  105. Lucas

    Really how naive can we be......did you ever think anything was secret online.

    February 19, 2010 at 7:23 pm |
  106. Brad

    I think there are two issues here. If you are purchasing over the Internet, it is more secure than going to a store and having your credit card being passed over a phone line. On the other hand companies are hacked all the time and it's obvious that they are not paying attention to security. A large prescription drug company was just hacked and they got my girlfriend social security number. It's getting to the point where this is going to have to be another area where business will have to be regulated or audited to prove their security practices are adequate. They spend billions in advertising and hundreds in security.and to make matters worse the places that have and share your private information are vaster than you can imagine.

    February 19, 2010 at 7:24 pm |
  107. tim richard

    are you kidding im afriad ....i'm online right let me get off of before i get a virus or somthing .........

    February 19, 2010 at 7:24 pm |
  108. peter neuer

    Why do we spend so much time covering tiger woods and his apology, the world has far more important issues than this, after all he's a man that hit's a ball with a stick, let's focus on the real and important issues we need to deal with, wars we need to get out of and the economy would be a good start,
    peter,

    huntersville, nc

    February 19, 2010 at 7:24 pm |
  109. jeff milligan

    My almost 80 year old mother pointed out to me some years back how UN-SAFE many "traditional" business transactions are; how many times do you hand someone your credit card and not see it again for a few minutes? Do you know how much personal information is on most of those magnetic strips? If it were so easy that any one way of conducting a business transaction is more safe than another, then there would be no need for laws. No one would rob banks because it is wrong. Any financial transaction we participate in is only as safe and secure as we ourselves make it. When was the last time a clerk asked to compare your signature to the one on the card? Or, better yet, how many of you have credit cards in your wallet that you have never signed on the back as required?

    February 19, 2010 at 7:24 pm |
  110. jim armstrong

    NEEDED: An international treaty that puts an automatic death penalty on hacking, etc activities, kill a few of them, regardless of the country of origin, and maybe they will take it all seriously

    February 19, 2010 at 7:24 pm |
  111. Tom Johns, Atlanta

    Sure. I like playing Russian roulette. That's why I drive in the Atlanta traffic.

    February 19, 2010 at 7:24 pm |
  112. Philo

    I have a solution to the internet hacking problem. My wife and I bought a house for as much as we could afford, as we were supposed to. Because WE loved each other, we took a second mortgage. Then she left me, and in addition to two mortgages, I pay her $1,000 a month. Sound like the federal government? You bet! Anyone who wants my Social Security Number for identity fraud or security reasons, let me know!

    February 19, 2010 at 7:25 pm |
  113. Jean

    In simple terms, from what I have heard about hacking, I do not have confidence in the Internet and have no intentions of doing business on the Internet. I also do not store confidential and personal matters on my computer system.
    Last year, I heard on CNN that a hacker said people are foolish to conduct business over the Internet. This means, these hackers will always find a way to access confidential matters of Internet users. I do inform others about it as everyone may not have heard it or read about it.

    February 19, 2010 at 7:25 pm |
  114. Ironsides

    Before big-business muscled into the Internet, the Internet was a friendly place to learn, share information and make friends world-wide.

    Since all you Global mob-bosses trompled onto the Internet, after the big Windows 95 push, the Internet has become just another territory for corporate thugs to walk all over everybody.

    Money! Money! Money!

    There is room for everybody on the Internet, but I see you corporate bullies are making the Internet a rotten place for anybody.

    February 19, 2010 at 7:25 pm |
  115. Robert Hudson

    No I don't think it is a safe place. A postage stamp with a clear post mark proveing the time you placed it in the mail can be can be an alternative way for those of us to meet credit card due dates and not be forced into this mess...Robert

    February 19, 2010 at 7:25 pm |
  116. Jerry in Alaska

    How many was is there to say "NOT" Jack? Even these answers to your questions are now avalable now with Obama's NEW PATRIOT ACT WITH GOOGLE. Why do you think we had CYBER WAR TUESDAY THIS WEEK?
    OH! Happy "IF DAY" to you, Jack. "IF DAY" was a 1942 Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada Drill, for IF NAZI Germany conquered Canada & how bad it would be!

    February 19, 2010 at 7:25 pm |
  117. Aziz

    I'm seriously concerned Jack – all computers have motherboards & other electronics from China & Japan. Maybe it's time we started creating our own electronics & computer parts right here in America to protect against cyber attacks? That would create many jobs here in America too. So it's a win/win.

    February 19, 2010 at 7:26 pm |
  118. Mark

    Safe?

    Absolutely! ...about as safe as a 20 year old's Social Security and Medicare benefits.

    As a former victim, I can attest that the bureaucratic red tape that accompanies identity theft is a life changing experience. A year out of college I had a home in Texas and a Ford Explorer, yet I lived in New England and could barely afford my apartment at the time. It took me 3 years to correct the problem. And, I'm still paying for it today in lost opportunities.

    Mark -
    Boston

    February 19, 2010 at 7:26 pm |
  119. Jude

    The internet was never a secure place to transact business. Even with all the anti-spy /anti virus software out there, its no match for these hackers. I was a victim of online banking theft in which I lost money due to cyber hackers. I no longer do online banking nor would I advise anybody to do so. I know in this day and age we need to transact online but I would prefer to do it the old fashion way check or cash ! ...and by the way I work in a bank.

    February 19, 2010 at 7:26 pm |
  120. Ken in NC

    We live in a "Lacksy Daisy" enviornment where we just assume the proper security is in place for whatever it is we are doing. Most companies do not to listen to advice from Internet Security Experts. You would be surprised at the number of comapnies that use Internet Virus Protection programs off the shelf with the thought they are protected.

    February 19, 2010 at 7:26 pm |
  121. Greg

    Jack,

    I am a Computer Network Engineer and I can tell you first hand that the Internet is NOT a safe place to conduct any kind of personal business on, I can tell you now that there are specialty programs out there, designed by convicted computer hackers in the past, that will seek all of the personalized items that you include in bank statements. and even tax forms that are sent to the IRS via e-mail. Any one who thinks that there are not these types of programs out t here, are very naive and are victims just waiting to have their identity stolen or even worse.

    Greg
    Cincinnati, Ohio

    February 19, 2010 at 7:26 pm |
  122. dennis james

    Jack, the big problem with the news media is they take the narrow subject at hand and dont analyze the bigger picture. Theres a big proportion of people who believe that if they keep their credit cards in their wallets and never sign on the computer that they are safe from hackers. Who do you think is transferring all those millions per second of credit card numbers when you go to a shopping mall, gas station or a hotel or car rental company? do you somehow believe a little old grandma is driving a box of sales slips to the bank? The information is transmitted by phone lines, computer lines, in fact wi fi and every other method of information technology. All this while you have your credit cards supposedly safely in your wallet and never go on the computer and use them. Well guess what? all your information, in fact your life is out there whether you like it or not, whether you share it or not. how about a story on the trip your credit card number takes when it leaves the store before it arrives on your bank statement or credit card statement. I bet it takes a long circuitious trip around the world, to china, india and back before it arrives on your Chase or Citibank statement, Best regards, Dennis

    February 19, 2010 at 7:27 pm |
  123. tracey

    Who ever said the INTERNET !!! was secure.. The internet is a collection of inter-connected networks.... It's like living in a gated community. And your neighbors leave the gate open and everyone leaves there doors unlocked. You're trusting someone you don't really know...

    But there will be those that will want the government to police companies and at the same time stay out of companies business.

    To secure not secure enough... Learn to lock you doors.

    February 19, 2010 at 7:27 pm |
  124. Carlos from San Antonio, TX

    In 2010, nobody is safe from hackers. The internet has, and always will be a security liability for all who use it. Frankly, I am more worried about people texting in traffic. Thats something we can control.

    February 19, 2010 at 7:27 pm |
  125. Matthieu (Washington, DC)

    If the security of our President and Vice President can be compromised so easily such as at the State Dinner or last week at the Olympics why should I feel safe that my personal information is safe. Additionally, I stopped believing in private or secure telecommunications after FISA in 2008.

    February 19, 2010 at 7:27 pm |
  126. Owen Rowley

    We zone our physical space and take measures to insure identity authentication and authorization when we enter into real world transactions but even then there are no guarantees that enterprising rascals will not be able to defeat those measures. On the internet defeating such methods is even easier.

    Those of us who are network professionals know that there is no such thing as security on the internet. All you can do is try to keep vigilant and address network exploits as they are discovered.

    February 19, 2010 at 7:28 pm |
  127. rec2tec

    I regularly run into people who are nervous about making an online purchase, but don't think twice about giving their credit card info over the phone when making catalog purchases. Similarly, they have no problem handing over their credit card in a restaurant and letting the waiter walk away with it. In either case, if you're dealing with an unscrupulous individual, you're just as likely to be a victim of identity theft.

    February 19, 2010 at 7:29 pm |
  128. Steve

    Hi Jack

    My brother runs a successsfull business in the UK, his credit details while booking flights for a business trip were acquired by somebody and the cost to his business was 25 thousand pounds, luckily he was well insured, since that day last october every transaction over the internet is done through a seperate account that is topped up as the need arrives by not only my brother but my parents and other family members such as myself , so we dont risk losing savings and investments. Its a bit more trouble than we would like but it gives us more security. It would be good for banks to let ordinary people know this is possible as they cannot afford to lose what big corporations can. Its not pretty or convienient but it works, well at least so far.

    February 19, 2010 at 7:29 pm |
  129. Chris / Sarasota, Florida

    Dear Jack,

    I firmly believe the internet is still a safe place to do business. Any reliable internet company usually has very tight security, and certainly belongs to more than one prestigious business association that certify them as safe, and reliable places to provide virtual commerce.

    Chris
    Sarasota, Florida

    February 19, 2010 at 7:29 pm |
  130. keith wingad

    Safe, sure, but just in case it is not here is my user name and password – gullible/ troubles

    February 19, 2010 at 7:30 pm |
  131. Jonathan Mullen

    I am a graduate student at a major Research University, and I have been asked this question ad nauseum and the security concern is not so much in the transportation of the data. In fact when you go to a secure site it means that all data sent between you and the site is encrypted with well established cryptography systems. These hacks we keep hearings about where all this personal data is compromised have never been attributed to a flaw in this security system.

    Most of these hacks target companies and sites that store bulk amounts of information. Your level of security online really comes down to how secure the company you are doing business is, and what information about you they store that could be compromised in a hack.

    Don't blame the technology, blame the companies that are too cheap to implement real security systems, then hide behind the shield that no one can stop a determined hackers. If we start holding them accountable they will either start taking security serious on their end or someone else will. Thus the beauty of the free market.

    But first we as the consumers need to understand that these hacks are not inevitable, but could have largely been adverted if more attention was paid to security and privacy before customers information is put in peril.

    February 19, 2010 at 7:30 pm |
  132. Dean Daily

    I will (most of the time) stick to old fashion TV. I like your program. Ooops, had to get on line to tell you this. G'bye!

    February 19, 2010 at 7:30 pm |
  133. David P Vernon

    Tucson, AZ – I have some professional experience with computer and network security assurance. The simple answer to your question is "no, the Internet is not at all secure." The reason most data on the Internet is not stolen is that the data volume is so high and the value of the individual data items is so low. The protocols were designed for the system to remain functional through a nuclear attack, a scenario in which security is irrelevant. The simple truth is, if you want a computer to be secure, do not allow it access to either a telephone or the Internet – keep it behind locked doors, connected only with dedicated fiber optic lines, using encryption on all data, using two-way authentication protocols for all traffic, and requiring individual personal security clearances for those granted access. Most critical US government systems are like this. Those that are not get hacked.

    February 19, 2010 at 7:30 pm |
  134. Hank

    Faced with the choice of risk of my online transactions getting hacked and navigating down expressways filled with bad drivers and road rage, I'll stay home and log on.

    February 19, 2010 at 7:32 pm |
  135. djsmith ca

    No, it's not safe from pilferers, but the internet is a convenient mode for buying or selling. I've had my card number stolen twice. The bank issuing the cards just canceled and replaced the plastic. A computer was lost with my SSN one of the several thousand stored inside. Still waiting for the consequences.

    February 19, 2010 at 7:32 pm |
  136. Tony Fiat

    If you have the muscle to stand in line for 30 to 60 minutes at your favorite bank branch nothing is safer than that until the branch loses a laptop with all your data. If you are willing to take some risk, then go crazy and don't stop using the internet however a your computer must be protected by an up to date firewall, spyware, antnivirus, cookies blocker, etc, etc.
    Toronto, Canada

    February 19, 2010 at 7:32 pm |
  137. Dishan ( from Heilbronn, Germany)

    I think there is no a 100 % security on internet. Despite more and more perfoment and successful security systems we are all to be careful. We have to not give our personal data on website that we do not know or trust, for example. We should also, as far as possible, not give our personal information and use fake name
    I have learned from an article this week that by indicating your status or activities on Twitter, people can know where you are. Thieves can break into your house because you indicates you are on Holidays outside of your town.

    February 19, 2010 at 7:34 pm |
  138. Pat

    The internet is as secure as a seive. The companies and Gov.agencys that have our data should be held financially responsible!Guess how fast the close the barn door if it will cost them! Pat! Micco,Fl.

    February 19, 2010 at 7:35 pm |
  139. B

    The internet is not a safe place to shop. My bank account was hit twice in one year. I will not use it to shop for anything anymore.Seems all you have to do is hit one key and you allow withdrawals from your acct. for the rest of your life. I even shut down my e-bay.

    February 19, 2010 at 7:35 pm |
  140. Sue from Redwood City

    I still think it's reasonably safe. People can also steal your checks and make copies of them to pass off on purchases as well as have access to your bank account numbers when you pay bills the old fashioned way. There is nothing that's 100% safe from sociopathic scumbags!

    February 19, 2010 at 7:36 pm |
  141. Thomas M. Collins

    About as comfortable as I am with the quality of TV journalism in the U.S.

    February 19, 2010 at 7:36 pm |
  142. Tom from Vermilion, Ohio

    Confident? Not at this time. However, I could be if I had a card swipe on my computer.

    February 19, 2010 at 7:36 pm |
  143. Willow, Iowa

    I bank online, bill pay online, buy from Overstock and Amazon. However, I have a ID safety company, provided by my workplace, that tells me if anyone gets a credit check on me, gets a credit card, etc. They will send me a letter if anything unusual happens. I also use only one credit card online, and it has a 500 dollar limit. So I wouldn't be dealing with thousands and thousands before it would be stopped.

    But I don't worry about it. Life is full of risk. I could walk across the street to mail my credit card bill offline, and get run over by a truck. There are no guarantees.

    February 19, 2010 at 7:36 pm |
  144. Linda in Arizona

    It is until something bad happens to you.

    February 19, 2010 at 7:37 pm |
  145. Ronnie

    I have been buying off the net for at least 10 years with no problems!

    February 19, 2010 at 7:42 pm |
  146. Norm

    The system is so secue that the hackers end up hacking each other so, let them hack on, perhaps they'll end up supplying us with sume real news!

    February 19, 2010 at 7:42 pm |
  147. Gary Martell

    Jack

    No its not safe.The real problem is the same people that make the security systems are the same people hacking them, that way you will have to go out and buy a newer version of protection. Its all BS

    Gary Illinois

    February 19, 2010 at 7:42 pm |
  148. tired

    You run a greater risk of having the waiter at a restaurant copy down your credit card number than having someone steal it via the internet. If everyone kept their computer and antivirus software up to date, this would not be an issue. The botnet in this case isn't even that large. There are many more out there comprising of hundreds of thousands or millions of computers. Where do you think spam comes from? The societal ignorance of how computers and the internet work astounds me.

    February 19, 2010 at 7:43 pm |
  149. David Swanson, St. Paul

    Jack, it isn't terribly complicated to block foreign cyber attacks. There is a finite number of submarine cables and satellite links that ingress the United States. We know the data origins of the inflow and outflow. If one of the major carriers desired, they could instantly cutoff or filter all the traffic from a particular location. It isn't rocket science, its router science and software.

    This is just more fear mongering and getting people to mistrust the infrastructure and opens the door for punitive government surveillance in the name of security. In reality, just typing a few commands could shutdown all the data traffic from China or whatever at ingress.

    Usually the ones crying fowl the loudest have a agenda and its not in your best interest.

    February 19, 2010 at 7:44 pm |
  150. Keith

    Electricty is not safe either, so we should stop using it.

    February 19, 2010 at 7:51 pm |
  151. Joe

    Jack of course it is not safe. NSA can hack into any computer in the world. Firewalls and anti-viruses are programs. Therefore their code is easy to get. Getting passwords and numbers is so easy with the new nano technology. I have a friend who says he can get into any computer in the world. He doesn't because he is not a law breaker He has an IQ of 160 and says the Chinese and Russians have programs that are years of ahead of us.

    February 19, 2010 at 7:52 pm |
  152. Martin Smith

    I'm about as confident in internet security as I am in the substance of Sarah Palin's speeches.

    February 19, 2010 at 7:55 pm |
  153. Franky, LOVE the Land of Lincoln

    Well, for starters, there are laws in place to make sure the confidentiality of such information be protected. But that ain't the problem, the problem is knowledge and experience regarding software and programming. Regardless who is doing it, the matter of fact is that computer programming is a very, very serious issue. Put it this way.

    When you go buy something at a store, they don't track your movements or record, right? They don't have a cookie sending it to other third parties, right? The only way you'll get information is if they ask you and input it on their computer, that's it. Or if you guive a zip code and that's how they'll track the number of consumers and ratio regarding how well their store sells within that location. It doesn't take a freaking genius.

    But in the computer, that's a whole other story. But there is other private companies who in fact make sure the business or E-Biz make sure that they dotheir job well. It is a problem and tech being highly sophisticated, is a problem that our government has to address and address really quick.

    The Computer Security Act should really start leveling up.

    February 19, 2010 at 7:58 pm |