Don’t Get Hacked!
You’ve had a bad day at work or school. Your boss yelled at you for something that wasn’t your fault, you forgot your class assignment, your dog ate your homework, your house plumbing literally blew a gasket. You’ve finally straightened it all up and now you decide to let it all go, log in to Warcraft and have some fun with your buddies online…
… And either you can’t get on, or you look at your character selection screen and are stunned to see all your characters prancing about Azeroth in their undies. You’ve been hacked!
It can happen. It has happened. It happened to me, and I can tell you first hand, it is a depressing, infuriating experience. But there are things you can do to prevent that from happening, and this article is presented in the hopes that you take it seriously and NOT let this happen to you.
How do you make it more difficult to be hacked? First, remember the old saying “When the gazelle are chased by the lion, you don’t have to be the fastest gazelle in the herd, you just can’t be the slowest!”. Don’t be the low hanging fruit – the easy mark.
- Your password should be at least 8 characters long.
- Your password should contain a combination of letters and numbers, and ideally also contain at least one special character (!, @, #, $, %, ^, &,* )
- Your password SHOULD NOT contain your name, your character name, your e-mail address, or any other easily guessable information.
If this does not describe your current password, take a moment to log in to Battle.net and change your password. Right now!
Once you have your new password, remember – most hacking occurs due to poor password security.
- Don’t share your log-in information with anyone! Once this information is out of your hands, you have no control over it.
- Don’t get caught in a phishing scam. Blizzard will never ask for your log-in information in an email, so don’t give it out.
- Don’t click the link! When you get an email that appears to be from Blizzard DO NOT click any links in the email! Instead, log in to Blizzard as you normally would. links in an email can take you to very dangerous places and within minutes, your account can be hacked. Don’t Do It!
- Don’t get caught by an in-game phishing scam. If you receive an in-game mail or ‘tell’ from someone claiming to be an employee of Blizzard, check to make sure!
- In game mail from Blizzard will ALWAYS have the Blizzard logo in the upper left corner (where you would normally see the ‘parchment’ mail icon).
- In-game ‘tells’ from Blizzard will ALWAYS have a small Blizzard icon next to their name … not text, but an actual image.
- In-game ‘tells’ from Blizzard will also open in a unique window that is separate from your normal chat window.
Add an Authenticator:
Okay, now that that is done, the second thing you should do is get yourself a Battle.net Authenticator. There are two types of authenticators available, the physical key-fob and the mobile authenticator available for Android, iOS, Blackberry and Windows 7 phones or devices. Get it, attaching to your account, and use it.
Good Anti-Virus Protection:
Download, and install the program, then make sure you update it immediately. Update and run the program regularly to make sure you haven’t inadvertently caught yourself a nasty virus.
If you take all of these steps, and follow through with keeping your operating system, web browser, and anti-virus software updated, you will be far less likely to be the ‘low hanging fruit’ that hackers seek out. It is far easier to be safe before hand, than to go through the aggravation, anger, and disappointment after you’ve been hacked.