You are not too zealous, but you are mistaken if you think using online banking (and possibly bill paying through the bank), utility service checking/paying, etc., exposes your information any further than it already is.
These institutions have not been using paper and pen to process your information for decades now. They have all the information already, they're simply saying that if you wish to use an outdated, and environmentally unfriendly, method of receiving your bills and paying same that you will be charged accordingly.
It always amazes me that people believe that online banking, charging with credit cards, etc., is any greater risk than using same in person. The moment you swipe your card or have it read in a chip reader in a retail outlet that same data is being transmitted through cyberspace via the same encryption protocols that your web browser uses when handling same.
I, like JohnC_21, have been doing nothing but online banking, bill payment, and credit card payment (and lots and lots of purchases, though I still shop "brick and mortar" plenty often) for decades now. I have had zero compromises of my information. My partner, by contrast, who also uses all these things online and in-person, too, has had his credit card information compromised on at least 5 occasions and had to have new cards issued. No one, including the credit card companies, seem to have any idea of exactly how or when those compromises occurred, and none have been the result of the credit card itself being out of his control other than to be swiped/chip-read at places like restaurants where it's customary for those providing service to do that.
I can recall, vividly, when direct deposit became available and just how many people insisted that they would not use it, opting for paper checks via mail instead. The amount of loss from paper check theft was huge. Direct deposit has always been safer, in every way, to using paper, and I opted for that as soon as I possibly could. I was really grateful when the United States Government mandated that things like Social Security payments and pension payments from OMB had to be direct deposited. It is just so much more safe and secure and involves so much less waste of time and paper.
Edited by britechguy, 01 May 2018 - 11:52 AM.
Observation following-up JC21's offering