Dust 514

MMOGuides: How to Keep Your Accounts Safe

Playing MMOs & MMORPGs can be a lot of fun, and very addictive. For some of us, playing these online games can become a big investment, by Burning Crusade in World of Warcraft I had a shaman with over 100 days played time. That’s a lot of time to be playing a game (always wondered how much of that was afk time) and sadly it can all be taken away in a matter of seconds. 

So it goes without saying, I would do everything to secure this account from hackers. Not to sound like I am bragging, but I have never been hacked, and there are reasons why. In this small guide I am going to show you some of the ways in which I keep my accounts safe. A lot of gamers know the pain of retrieving lost accounts from unorganized customer support teams, don’t suffer the same fate. So without further delay, here’s some great ways to protect your accounts.

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Use a unique email

When registering an account for a new MMO, don’t sign up with the same email you use for general internet use. Instead, create a brand new email account and only use it for that specific game. Never use this email to sign up for anything else at all, this way no one but the operators of the game, the email service provider and yourself know that this email exists. Also, don’t forget to untick the boxes (if they are there) that sign you up to the newsletter and/or potentially allows them to give your email to a third party for promotions. You don’t need these things, if you do then sign up for the newsletter with another email.

Now I recommend you create a new email for every game account, or at least the ones that matter. You don’t have to do this, but keeping each MMO attached to its own separate email is an added security measure. Let’s say your secure email is somehow hacked by someone who has managed to plant a keylogger on your computer, you wouldn’t want to run the risk of losing a bunch of your game accounts because your email was compromised. Some password recovery systems for MMOs are quite secure, some are not and this helps minimize any potential damage.

Summary:
  • Use a unique email for each MMO you play.
  • Don’t register all accounts to one email address.

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Keep your computer clean

Keeping your system free from viruses and unwanted junk is vital to keeping your accounts safe. Your email which you use for nothing else can instantly be hacked because you accidently downloaded a keylogger from that dodgy site you visited. Always remember when browsing the internet to stick to the well-known and reputable sites, as much as possible. When receiving emails, double-check who the sender is and remember that just because admin@battle.net emailed you, doesn’t mean it’s actually them. There are ways to create “fake” emails that are exactly the same as real ones.

Most email providers display the hidden email address, so it’s rarely an issue. Most importantly however, remember that a game developer doesn’t need to ask you for your password and security details, they have them in their system. Never answer these emails or click the links inside them, and remember how you created that unique email for your MMO? You shouldn’t even be receiving account related emails anymore!

Finally, download a decent anti-virus like AVG Free, or one of the other decent (and free) variants available. The only true anti-virus is common sense, but it never hurts to have a helping hand. Scan your computer every few weeks and keep an eye on what you download, a clean computer is a safe computer.

Summary:
  • Be careful of what sites you visit.
  • Be careful of clicking links in emails.
  • Scan your computer regularly with Anti-Virus software.

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Keep it secret, Keep it safe

I think this one is pretty obvious, but it seems a lot of us don’t take it as seriously as we should. Never share your account details with anyone, both friends and family. Sure, your brother or sister may never steal your car if you left your keys lying around, but deleting your max level character may not seem like such a betrayal of trust, it may even seem funny. Basically, the person you are entrusting your account details with might not see the account as having the same value as you do. Don’t risk it.

Speaking of passwords, keep them somewhat complex but easy to remember. Try and mix letters with numbers, and capitalize some of your letters. Having these three things in your password making it strong enough to make it practically impossible to guess, much more secure than your pet’s name. An example of such a password would be, PassWord123. You could even make it more complex and do it in more complex variants like, P45sW0rD132. Lastly, use a different password for each account, for obvious reason.

So you have a new email for each account, a new password for everything, how do you keep track of it all? That’s quite easy, and the trouble is definitely worth it. You could write your account details down and keep it in a safe place within your home, unless there are others around you feel would take this document if found. Otherwise, you can use a program like KeePass to store all your account details. KeePass allows you to store all your usernames and passwords for all your accounts in an encrypted program, requiring a master password to access. If you are going to use KeePass, make sure your master password is extremely complex and something only you could ever know.

Summary:
  • Don’t share your account with anyone.
  • Use a new password for every account, use letters, capital letters and numbers.
  • Store all your account details somewhere safe in case you forget them.

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