You walk into your home and make an anguishing discovery you've been the victim of a burglary. Besides your TV, some jewelry and your PC, the thief got away with your Xbox 360 video game console.

Granted, it's not a good situation, but if you stop after calling the police and your insurance agent, the burglary could get even worse. If you've used your credit card to open an account on Xbox Live, the thief could be downloading games and buying points. Because your credit card is tucked safely in your wallet, you may be none the wiser.

The Belgian gamers' blog has reported just such an occurrence in Canada. It is advising its readers to keep credit card information off their game consoles.

The post raises an important point in this era of e-commerce. Our fictional burglary victim might also be vulnerable to credit card theft when a computer is lost or stolen.

If the owner is a frequent e-commerce customer, at a site such as, he may have a credit card on file for purchases. He may also have checked the box that says "remember me on this computer," so that his user name and password automatically pops up. It's an open invitation for the burglar to go on a shopping spree.

The best advice is to immediately contact your credit card company if a burglar steals your Xbox or PC.

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