Companies for whom we provide affiliate links have similar security measures for their sensitive information. We do not partner with MLMs, e-mail spammers, or other scam artists who are out to make a buck rather than conduct their business with the goal of meeting a customer's need in a way that is both moral and ethical.
We realize someone somewhere is capable of breaching any site's security measures. By the same token, someone somewhere is capable of entering a bank and robbing it. That doesn't keep us from doing business with banks.
What about identity theft and fraud?
The majority of the 9.3 million people who reported identity theft or fraud to authorities in 2004 weren't burned over the the Internet. In fact, 88% were defrauded without the Internet. Most folks are burned by low-tech methods. The most common methods used were dumpster diving (or trash picking) and wallet theft. Things have not changed much since then.
While many people fear Internet fraud, it simply is not a significant threat to consumers or business customers.
One reason why is the quick detection inherent in the electronic world. Another is the electronic world has security measures such as 128-bit encryption--common among secure e-commerce sites (such as Mindconnection). The US Navy tried to break a 128-bit encrypted message, using a supercomputer. After 6 months, they just gave up.
The median loss via electronic fraud or identity theft is $500, and the limit for quickly-reported (or quickly-detected) credit card fraud is $50. Who pays for the remainder of any losses? Online merchants. We merchants have a strong interest in reducing fraud. This helps you, and it helps us. While your personal losses are very limited, we merchants have full liability with zero protection.
But don't use the possibility of your losing $500 as a "reason" to avoid electronic transactions. Consumers who are defrauded by paper means (lifted checks, photographed credit cards, stolen wallets, unshredded receipts recovered from the trash) typically lose $4500 to identity thieves.
If you think the $4500 is bad, compare it to the enormous losses to individuals from dealings with certain government agencies (not the great ones we've come to know and love).
One agency in particular can, without any fear of citizen reprisal, simply steal a person's home or stick that person with an unfounded debt of several decades' wages. This agency is particularly noted for fraudulent activity and destruction of individuals. We won't name the agency here, though you probably already know who they are from the descriptoin of their abuses.
It's not the agency per se, but rogue employees of it, who do the dirty deeds. Unfortunately, these rogue employees are unsupervised and cannot be sued, investigated, or punished for their crimes. Thus, they do such things as sell your private information to identity thieves, create false tax debts they then manipulate for personal gain, run scams on small businesses, and steal government property your tax dollars then go toward replacing (source: The GAO).