Information on the internet, or in any other public forum, is only as secure as a person is willing to make it. In spite of this, it is important to remember that all security measures are made by humans, and humans are not infallible. As such, any security measure designed by humans may be breached by those who are willing to put forth the time and effort it will take to do so, and all security flaws may be found if given enough time. Furthermore, the basic systems and servers that work to comprise the internet themselves do not actually need to be breached for information to be stolen, something that many people forget about.
The simple fact of the matter is that all data is routed from one place to another, either from the individual sending the information or from the data being sent from servers to other locations on the internet; all that needs to be done to obtain any type of data is to spoof the routing path for the data itself, redirecting the information to another location, allowing for decryption at the leisure of the individual (Seltzer, 2013).
It is not just an anonymous individual hiding away in some basement and munching on cheese doodles that is the problem either, though the stereotypical hacker does play a role; governments are the greatest data thieves in today’s day and age, and anything that is done online may be intercepted by the government at any time and stored for up to five years (Snyder, 2012). As Snowden and others like him have shown, such government servers and government databases are far less secure than more of the traditional databases, like those in Google’s server farm. The plain fact of the matter is that nothing online is ever truly secure, but some things are more secure than others.
- Seltzer, L. (2013). BGP spoofing – why nothing on the internet is actually secure | ZDNet. ZDNet. Retrieved 22 April 2014, from http://www.zdnet.com/bgp-spoofing-routing-router-phishing-why-nothing-on-the-internet-is-actually-secure-7000019015/
- Snyder, M. (2012). 10 Reasons Why Nothing You Do On The Internet Will EVER Be Private Again. Endoftheamericandream.com. Retrieved 22 April 2014, from http://endoftheamericandream.com/archives/10-reasons-why-nothing-you-do-on-the-internet-will-ever-be-private-again