Facebook recently made changes to its service agreement in order to make members’ data more accessible to other computer users. Amuse, Inc. announced last week that hackers stole credit-card information from about 150,000 clients. Hackers broke into the social network Twitter’s system and stole documents.

Your online data is not private. It may seem private, but it’s not. Take e-mail, for example. You might be the only person who knows your e-mail password, but you’re not the only person who can read your e-mail. Your e-mail provider can read it too — along with anyone he gives access to. That can include any backbone provider who happened to route that mail from the sender to you. In addition, if you read your e-mail from work, various people at your company have access to it, too. And, if they have taps at the correct points, so can the police, the U.S. National Security Agency, and any other well-funded national intelligence organization — along with any hackers or criminals sufficiently skilled to break into one of these sites.

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