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Sudo and other root-based security issues

>From what I've read, I'm relatively pertrified to use my root account unless
absolutely necessary, like configuring X or setting up my MTA. (There are
only two users here, me and root.)

But since some commands require root access, and it's a pain to su root all
the time, how secure is it to run sudo on something like wvdial or slrnpull?

I'm generally under the impression that once logged on as root and on-line
with the Internet, anyone can crack into my system. This has got to be
wrong, right?

David J. Kanter
Debian 2.1 

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