These outbreaks of hacking of financial information from big fancy retailers have left me trying to figure out how best to protect my own earnings. I don't shop much at big fancy retailers, but I do buy stuff from time to time and my usual payment mechanism is my debit card. I feel like Target can't possibly be the only ones storing PINs and not protecting them, so what does a rational consumer do? I've come up with 4 options 1. pay cash for everything (not the most practical sadly) 2. checks, like writing out a check (only my mom still writes checks), 3. paying with my debit but choosing "credit" rather than supplying my PIN (hurts the retailer as credit costs them more per charge than debit I think), 4. keep on debiting and PINning.

Can anyone weigh in on the relative merits/ problems/ magical thinking I'm using to try to help us all make better purchasing decisions? Yes, I could become a homesteader, but I'm not going to.