Will We Ever Be Able To Surf The Internet Safely?

Over at the N.Y. Times there is an article about how much more vulnerable we have all become, due to the Internet and cell phone use. The article describes how some feel we are less secure today than we were 20 years ago. It seems that the thieves are able to steal data at will with little security intervention. According to the article it also states:

Beyond the billions of dollars lost in theft of money and data is another, deeper impact. Many Internet executives fear that basic trust in what has become the foundation of 21st century commerce is rapidly eroding. “There’s an increasing trend to depend on the Internet for a wide range of applications, many of them having to deal with financial institutions,” said Vinton G. Cerf, one of the original designers of the Internet, who is now Google’s “chief Internet evangelist.”

“The more we depend on these types of systems, the more vulnerable we become,” he said.

The United States government has begun to recognize the extent of the problem. In January, President Bush signed National Security Presidential Directive 54, establishing a national cybersecurity initiative. The plan, which may cost more than $30 billion over seven years, is directed at securing the federal government’s own computers as well as the systems that run the nation’s critical infrastructure, like oil and gas networks and electric power and water systems.

That will do little, however, to help protect businesses and consumers who use the hundreds of millions of Internet-connected personal computers and cellphones, the criminals’ newest target.

Are we all doomed? Is the sky falling?

What do you think? Share your thoughts.


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I have been writing for Lockergnome for eight years.

  • http://www.diamondonnet.com/ Diamonds

    I believe we can make it more secure and awareness can really help also.

  • Michael Linehan

    “The more we depend on these types of systems, the more vulnerable we become,” he said.

    Only if you use Windoze. Linux and Mac OS X are massively more secure, out of the box.

    And, puh-lease don’t come up with the “security through obscurity” myth. Apache is far more widespread than Windows, but is not systematically attacked. EVERYTHING is more secure than Windows.

  • mhz

    RE: Will we ever be able to surf safely ….

    Ha. Of course, but only if restrict your browser to HTML. All the scripting components come with vulnerabilities. There is always going to be a tradeoff of cool functionality vs. vulnerability.

    You can’t have cool functionality without exposing some weakness. The current/past coding model for web pages does not allow it.

    Also, there will always be a user base that is easily exploitable, due to youth or inexperience.

    Personally, I don’t let my browser run scripts until I am ~85% sure I can trust it, and then I allows them selectively. (I use FFX +NoScript plugin). But I might still be tricked into a keylogger someday, and so might you.

    You just have to do the “due diligence” by not allowing scripts to run in your browser unless you *KNOW* you can trust the site, and you have to make sure you don’t keep anything stored on your “Internet browsing” computer that you would hate to see compromised.

    Anyone who can adapt to those rules will be fine 99-100% of the time, those who do less will get exploited sooner or later.

  • http://wp3.lockergnome.com/nexus/blade/ Ron Schenone

    Thank for the comments and for sharing your experiences with us.
    Regards, Ron

  • http://www.hipstyleandvalue.com Jessica

    Will we ever be able to surf safely …
    I don’t think so!
    But I am sure more and more people will use Internet anyway!