There appears to be constant streams of news about identify theft. Sony is making news right now because many of their PS3 customers are potential victims of identity theft after the system was hacked last week.
Mark, That’s Crazy Talk
There’s a good way to start preventing this type of theft from happening and it might sound crazy, but don’t store your credit card information online on video game console services, at retailers, anywhere. Some merchants make it mandatory to put a card on for monthly billing and that’s great for convenience but in most cases, if it isn’t billed monthly, you can go into the system or call and have that number removed. If you are on Xbox, use prepaid game cards instead, same goes for World of Warcraft or any other service that accepts game card payments.
If you are addicted to the speed and convenience then use a card you don’t mind cancelling or use the one where the expiration date is coming up soon. You might run into a bump if that card hits the expiration, but by then you should have already gotten a new one.
Don’t use cards that are directly attached to your savings. Those would be debit cards with MasterCard or Visa logos and come from your bank. If you want to be really clever, open up a PayPal account, attach it to a credit card and you’ve doubled your security.
The internet is a double-edged sword.
What is identity theft beyond… well you know, someone stealing your identity? What can be done with a stolen identity and how is it generally done? On the ftc.gov site is an abundance of information. Victims of identity theft can visit to find out what identity theft is and what to do if it happens to them. Fledgling thieves can read it as a personal guide to good ideas for what to do and how to profit with a stolen identity. Yup, double edged sword.