Wade through all those television commercials and written notices from banks and credit card companies, not to mention utilities and cable bills, and it seems as though the best way to pay any bill is over the Internet. Simple, fast, no envelopes to lick, and no stamps to buy. All free! Sounds good, eh? But, how safe is Internet bill paying anyway?

John Jordan, who is executive director of the eBusiness Research Center at Penn State's Smeal College of Business, in University Park, Pennsylvania, says that there are simply too many ways that things can go south. He specifically points out that thieves are indeed quite proficient at overriding all the fancy technology that banks have in place to access your account. And, he doesn't mind mentioning that online crime is now a multi-billion dollar business. That's billions, I say, billions!

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