Is Your Information Safe?

1588 words 7 pages
Is Your Information Safe?

He doesn't wear a stocking mask over his face, and he doesn't break a window to get into your house. He doesn't hold a gun to your head, nor does he ransack your personal possessions. Just the same he's a thief. Although this thief is one you'll not only never see, but you may not even realize right away that he's robbed you. The thief is a computer hacker and he "enters" your home via your computer, accessing personal information -- such as credit card numbers
-- which he could then use without your knowledge -- at least until you get that next credit card statement. Richard Bernes, supervisor of the FBI's Hi-Tech squad in San Jose, California, calls the Internet "the unlocked window in cyberspace through
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The latest weak spot that has been discovered is a flaw in the World
Wide Web. The Web is the fastest-growing zone within the Internet, the area where most home computer users travel, as it's attractive and easy to use.
According to an advisory issued on the Internet by a programmer in Germany, there is a "hole" in the software that runs most Web sites (Quittner 44). This entry point will provide an an intruder with access to any and all information, allowing him to do anything the owners of the site can do. Network-security specialist Cheswick points out that most of the Web sites use software that puts them at risk. With more and more home computer uses setting up their own home pages and Web sites, this is just one more way a hacker can gain access to personal information (Quittner 44). Credit bureaus are aware of how financial information can be used or changed by computer hackers, which has a serious impact on their customers.
Loans can be made with false information (obtained by the hackers from an unsuspecting computer user's data base); and information can be changed for purposes of deceit, harassment or even blackmail. These occur daily in the financial services industry, and the use of Internet has only complicated how an organization or private individual keeps information private, confidential and, most importantly,


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