trying to hold sand

I’ve been pretty conscious lately of where my personal information goes. I’ve been interested in staying anonymous for a blog and mailing lists, so my mind is kinda turning that problem over. In addition, with this year’s heightened problems with indentity theft and disclosure of personal information from places like the VA, every time I fill out a web form, my mind flitters over the thought that here is yet another place my personal information resides, ready to be indexed, stored, stolen, and used.
Just yesterday I submitted a job application to a company in the Seattle area, and at the bottom was a credit report disclosure form complete with social security number field. I immediately glanced up and noticed that the site had no SSL functionality on this particular form. I was a bit annoyed, but at least I was completing this form from my home network. If it had been somewhere else, I would have fully aborted that half hour of effort.
I order books online and provide credit card numbers. I renew my World of Warcraft account online, and there is more information. I submit less information to many sites that require logins, including job sites and corporate sites that want me to log in just to store my resume (so they say). All of this is like trying to hold so much sand in one hand…just think, all it takes is the least secure online store to be broken into and the data siphoned away…such as that site I ordered incense from recently. I wonder if that non-chain, local store has a security guru making sure their site and data are secure?
In the end, I just become more sympathetic to removing the “convenience” of sites “remembering” my account information so I don’t have to put it in again for subsequent purchases I may or may not make. I think data retention of that nature should be disallowed, and transaction logs in databases expunged on a regular basis or just stored on offline, secured media. If I only had to worry about the actual transfer of the information from my system over my network, my ISP, the Internet, to the vendor, I would feel a lot better than to have account and login and payment information stored by said vendor… How often do I let a restuarant keep a copy of my credit card and signature so that I can realize the convenience of not having to reach into my pocket to get it out, wait for the return of the waitstaff, and sign the slip?