Probably you have already heard that new century’s saying about your privacy in Internet: “If you don’t want something to be known, simply don’t put it online”. It seems most of us feel the battle for digital intimacy is over… and we have lost the war.
But then, where is the usefulness of those things about security we heard every day in the news: the secure protocol, the passwords, the encryption and these miraculous words?
Just follow the money.
Although you can make all the groups and classifications you want, the web can be divided in three groups of websites where
- there is no money around: blogs, informational websites, hobby and personal pages, etc
- the money runs only in one direction, from the consumer to the online store for any kind of products and services
- the money can flow in both directions or from one part to a third one
As you can suppose, the level of security is higher in each rung.
Certainly, there must be some private websites managed by ultra experienced webmasters, who have a pleasure fighting against hackers in its particular game of cat and mouse; and there is a lot of personal websites hosted in protected blogging platforms (WordPress became the most popular these days), but there is an incredible amount of websites where user emails are published or shared in emails (along some hoax) and member profiles in forum are publicly available. Then, if you don’t want something to be known, do not publish it there.
In the second level, the online stores have a serious trouble with hackers. The news are full of stories about a list of millions of personal profiles (including name, address, credit card and other relevant identity data) sold in the dark web for a few bitcoins. This is a real threat for the whole Internet. Cybercrime is rising and nothing seems to show a change in that growing trend. Some merchants simply surrender and pay a bit more to a payments processor to manage the money in their sales; from the side of the consumer, something similar happened and more and more buyers don’t feel comfortable if they must give their personal and financial data in a website, but they buy with confidence if there is a third part managing the payment process. The bigger winner in this battlefield is Paypal, now a independent company without direct relationship with eBay.
In the third rung, companies which work everyday with money are doing the greatest efforts to maintain the money protected from hackers (just burglars with computers). Not only banks and credit card companies are trying to secure their funds; there are a lot of websites that can’t allow to anyone access their systems. Their reputation – their whole business – depends on them being secure, after all.
Out of this groups are a few of mega companies, too big to be hacked. Google, Apple and Facebook, i.e., are under the Government’s wings and are protected from the core of Internet. Anyway, that’s not a story about online security, but politics.