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Regular Contributor

Coerced Onto a Shaky Foundation

There is not one site on the entire Internet that cannot be hacked.  That is a fact recognized better by the  people who build computers, apps, and websites than those who avail themselves of their advantages.  Nearly all Terms of Service declare that people use their products at their own risk and accept them as is in those wordy, dull contracts nobody bothers to read.  So avid are people to avail themselves of the latest, coolest, fastest method available that they blindly agree to gamble their personal information and money in order to gain the ease of employing what has caught their fancy.  The Internet has become so integral to today's world that we would rather forget how porous it was designed to be rather than continue to exert effort or be left out of its loop.

 

The Internet's original intent was to exchange scientific information and was constructed to allow government to enter it in order to assure themselves nothing imperiled its stability.  The designers and builders, in all probability, never imagined that one day so much commercial activity would be heaped upon their deliberately flawed foundation.  Now, decades later, those who have grown up alongside the Internet believe it is more trustworthy than people and established institutions, and are trying to force we people who still rely on checks, stamps, and the US mail to go where we know it's not safe.

 

This month, it was sprung upon me that the only way I could pay my rent was by using the management company's portal, which claims that it has "no commitment to security, reliability, quality, accuracy, or availability", in the final paragraph of its Terms of Service.  Who in their right mind would bet their money under such conditions?  Could anyone who dared put such a statement on a resume expect even a call back, let alone an interview?  Yet, since forcing tenants to use this portal frees the leasing agents, who are working in a robust market and are busy with post-pandemic evictions, from the chores of handling a personal check, posting it and depositing it into a bank, they hard sell the portal like its some long hoped for panacea.

 

In all good conscience and common sense, I can't buy it and the trend that is developing that gives me no choice in how to manage my personal finances worries me gravely.  Like that condominium in Miami did, any website can collapse without warning.  Unlike Champlain Towers, however, an Internet construct can go down and have its information stolen because hackers intentionally tunneled through the irreparable crack at its core.

 

How did we let our greed and laziness get the better of us in such a short period of time?  I know it's way too late to shove this behemoth of a genie back into its bottle, but shouldn't we stop ignoring the fact that hacking will continue no matter how many digital paper clips, rubber bands, duct tape, or Lego blocks are added to keep out the bad guys?  For the sake of sanity, could we at least retain our choice of how and it what form we spend the money we've earned from our own labor?

Regular Social Butterfly

From a technical point of view:  If you must use the web site, get yourself some reputable security software with a strong VPN.

It is an antisocial solution to an antisocial problem, but you don't have to be faster than the Lions, just faster than some of the other prey.

 

Also, maybe consult an attorney...some places have laws prohibiting landlords making 'Online' the only way to pay rent.

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Super Contributor

I am no expert at internet or computer programming, but is seems to me when you have to use a User ID and password to enter a web site you should be entering a " secure " web site.  I don't understand why this is not possible.

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Regular Social Butterfly

Because we live in a culture that still values and rewards antisocial behavior.  The problem is in our collective values and individual actions, not in the technology.

As long as people believe that a technological solution can be found they're just rats in a maze with no exit, or hamsters on a wheel going nowhere.

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Regular Contributor

Because nothing can be secure on the Internet because it was originally designed to share not hoard information.  Sites can be shored up and termed secure because hackers have to work harder to get to them, but there's nothing but their own lack of ambition to keep them from doing so if they dig deep enough.  The simplest solution is to use sites that nobody's interested in or have nothing to gain from gaining illicit access to them, which is why I insist performing any financial transaction at all on the Internet should remain entirely voluntary.

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