World of Warcraft Guide: Keeping your Account Safe
Account security is important in a game like World of Warcraft. This article will overview simple tips to keep your account safe and scams to avoid.
Whilst playing World of Warcraft, some players will be the victim of scams or phishing attacks and their accounts will be hacked, sold or even deleted. There are many simple and easy ways to avoid becoming a victim of these scams and generally keep account details safe.
Purchase an Authenticator
The best way to keep account details safe is to purchase an authenticator from Blizzard, these are very cheap and one of the best ways to protect your account. In addition, when a player does buy an authenticator they will get an in-game Corehound pet to add to their collection, which is an account bound pet. An authenticator displays six random digits which are typed in when a player logs on, the chances of someone hacking an account with an authenticator are very slim.
Keep Account Details Safe
Keeping account details safe is important whether a player has an authenticator or not. It is advised to regularly change the account password, every couple of months for example, and to never give anyone your account details. A Blizzard employee will never ask for your full account details if they contact you.
Use Anti-virus Software
This might sound obvious but using up to date and certified anti-virus software will help protect your account details. Also running scans frequently will help detect any key-logging malware that might be on a computer.
Scams to Avoid
There are many ways in which hackers will try to get a person's account details, for seasoned players these scams are obvious, but they might not seem so to new players or young players. One of the most common is to get an in-game whisper telling a player their account has been compromised and they will need to visit a site to rectify the problem. These whispers often are from someone with a variation on the word Blizzard, such as with accented characters, or they will put GM into the name to make it seem they are a Game Master. Firstly GMs will not contact a player unless they have an open ticket already, and secondly a player will never receive an in-game message from Blizzard about their account. The best thing to do is report the person for spam. A similar and also popular scam is again players will get an in-game whisper informing them that they have won an exclusive mount or pet, and need to visit a site to put in their account details so they can receive the mount or pet. This will never happen, if Blizzard ever did do a giveaway of exclusive items, it would be a competition on their website and a player would be notified by email.
Phishing emails can be quite sophisticated and initially look genuine. If a player receives an email that might look like it is from Blizzard, it is advisable to check the origin of the email. If it does seem suspicious never click on any urls in the email, instead copy/paste the link into a search engine and see what comes up. Most browsers these days have advanced phishing detection, so if the browser warns about the site don't enter it.
However, genuine emails can be received from Blizzard which indicate that someone is trying to hack a player's account. A good example is players with authenticators might receive an email from Blizzard about cancelling the authenticator associated with their account. This means that someone has contacted Blizzard pretending to be a player and reporting that the authenticator is lost or broken. However, Blizzard will still require the serial number on the back of the authenticator to pursue any action with it. It is inevitable that some players do lose or break their authenticators so they should always make a note of the serial number as soon as they purchase one.
If a player suspects their account details have been breached, but no obvious signs of hacking have appeared with their character, they should firstly change their password, email Blizzard, and also let their guild master know. This is especially important if characters have access to a guild bank and funds.
If a player logs on and realises their account has been hacked, as in their character has no gold or gear, they should contact Blizzard immediately. The player will then have to change their account details, and in most cases players will get the majority of their items back, although this can take some time.
It is very easy to protect an account from being hacked, and players need to realise that in a game as big and profitable as World of Warcraft, they will always be a target for hackers. Following the tips in this article and using common sense will genuinely help protect account details.