If there's one thing that the recent attack on the PlayStation Network has taught us, it is that nothing is safe online. Though it is easy to get preachy about these things (I'm all about being secure online), we all became instant victims in the PSN attacks. It didn't have to be this way though. There are plenty of ways to be safe online, and you don't have to store your personal information on the PlayStation Network, the Wii Shop Channel, or on Xbox Live. In fact, there are five good reasons not to!
5. No One Forces You to Use your Real Information
I have a friend who is legitimately paranoid. Not in a John Connor kind of way, but enough that she never uses her real name on Facebook, signs up for email addresses under an alias, and doesn't sign her credit cards. So needless to say, this friend never uses her real name when using an online service. Though this seems like something that would be against the terms of service, it is actually perfectly okay. As long as you aren't impersonating someone, you can pick whatever pseudonym you want when you sign up to use an online service. Even if you are using Xbox Live (which you have to pay for) you can just use a subscription card to avoid having to use your real name with the service. And if you are using a fake name and address, then you never have to worry about them being stolen.
4. You Won't Miss Anything If You Don't Use a Credit Card
Like anyone else, I crave convenience in my life. It's so easy to just pop in your credit card number and buy as much content as you want. And when the new console generation began, it was really the only way to purchase content from the PlayStation Network. However, in the years since, it has become incredibly easy to get points cards for all three systems, and you don't even have to leave your house to get them. Online retailers like Amazon and GameStop have instant delivery options that get you points codes in seconds that you can use immediately on the service. Although storing a credit card on your system of choice may seem like the most convenient option, that's just not true anymore.
3. You Want to Avoid Impulse Purchases
Look, we've all been guilty of buying something impulsively. Whether it's candy at the checkout lane, or some new action figure you just "had" to have as soon as you saw it, impulsive purchases are something everyone deals with. However impulse buying on a video game console can be a different beast altogether, as full games, expansions, and themes are just a click away. If you have to add information at a purchase point first, however, it will give you a minute or two to pause and think about whether you really do want to make those purchases. You'll also have to keep purchasing points if you are thinking about getting a lot of content, which will keep you monitoring you spending habits.