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Blizzard increases security with SMS Protect

If you're concerned about account security, there's a new feature Blizzard want you to know about. They've been reminding us all about this feature via the forums, and have posted this informative, if somewhat bizarre video to tell us all about it.

The new feature, introduced a few months back, is Battle.net SMS Protect. It's a free service, as long as your mobile phone service provider doesn't charge you to receive text messages, in which case text messages would be charged at the usual rate. SMS Protect cannot use any type of messaging other than text messaging, and doesn't require a smartphone to work -- all your phone needs is the ability to receive SMS text messages, making this a nice feature for those players who don't have smartphones.

There have been mixed reports on whether it works with prepaid mobile phones, but where it hasn't been working that's usually because carriers don't allow the receipt of SMS text messages.

SMS Protect is not designed to replace the authenticator, either the phone authenticator or the physical authenticator. Rather, it is an alert system, designed to warn you about suspicious activity on your account, and allow you to perform certain actions with your phone. Hit the break for more information!



Blizzard Customer Support
You've probably heard about the benefits of using a Battle.net Authenticator or Battle.net Mobile Authenticator app by now. But did you know that a few months ago, we introduced a new, optional security measure called Battle.net SMS Protect that works in tandem with the Authenticator to help safeguard your account?

Battle.net SMS Protect lets you perform certain account actions, such as removing your Authenticator, from your mobile phone, and can be set up to provide you with account-activity notifications. All you need is a supported text-enabled cell phone to get started.

What can Battle.net SMS Protect do for you?
  • Unlock your Battle.net account
  • Remove a damaged or lost Authenticator
  • Recover your account name
  • Reset your password

In addition, you can turn on alerts to have text messages sent directly to your phone notifying you of certain kinds of account activity, such as password changes and security feature additions or removals.

These text messages are a free* and easy way to help protect your account from unauthorized access and changes.

I bet you're thinking what I'm thinking. "Hang on... If my authenticator's on my phone, and the SMS protect is tied to my phone... What happens if I lose my phone?!"

As I'm sure you can imagine, Blizzard have thought of that, but I'm afraid the answer is that you need to contact customer support, via Battle.net, or via phone if you're lucky enough to have another one. You will need to send a copy of a nationally registered photo ID, such as a passport or driver's license, and Blizzard will commence the process of removing your Authenticator and SMS Protect from your account.

Edit: Zarhym was good enough to drop us a line to clarify the original Customer Support post.

SMS Protect is bound to the phone number and not the physical phone. When a player replaces their phone and hooks it up with their service carrier, SMS Protect will still be tied to that number, much in the same way they'll still receive texts on their new phone from their friends. Unless someone needs to change their number for some reason, this clarified functionality should alleviate most causes for anyone to contact support should they lose their phone.

The physical phone itself is not tied to your SMS protect. If you lose your phone, you should be able to get a new SIM card with the same number, and still have access to your SMS protect service. So, you can fix the problem yourself without having to get in touch with customer support. And, as noted, once you've got your SMS protect service back, you can deal with the lost authenticator on your lost phone!

If you want to find out more about Battle.net SMS Protect, you can check out the FAQ, or watch the video in the header!

Filed under: Account Security

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