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Posts with tag wow-security

How to keep your computer secure to keep your account secure

We've talked about how to secure your Warcraft account, but no matter how strong your password, your account can still be compromised if you don't practice safe computer habits. So just what makes safe computing? It's about keeping your computer itself secure from threats by making sure you have updated software and a solid antivirus program to keep out viruses and keyloggers. But even a secure system won't do you much good if you fall prey to a scam -- so safe computing isn't just keeping your computer secured, it's also about knowing how to stay safe online.

We admit, it sounds kind of hokey, but online security will help your account stay yours, whether you're talking about World of Warcraft or a credit card. So if you're not quite sure what we're getting at when we talk about safe computing, spend a few minutes to read this article. We'll walk you through the basics of what you need to know to keep your accounts in your hands.

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Filed under: WoW Rookie, Account Security

How to secure your World of Warcraft account

Whether you're just getting started or you've maxed out the number of characters on your World of Warcraft account, your account is valuable to hackers. And if they happen to steal your account, it can be a pain -- and a long wait -- to get it back to you. All of this makes securing your World of Warcraft account serious business.

But fortunately, it's easy enough to keep your account under (virtual) lock and key by taking some precautions in advance -- and when we say "in advance," we mean these are things you should do right now. We'll walk you through the very basics of keeping your account secure with a good password and an authenticator. Read on for all you need to know about getting started with good security!

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Filed under: WoW Rookie, Account Security

Breakfast Topic: Why Blizzard should make authenticators mandatory on Battle.net accounts


With the impending switch to necessary Battle.net accounts, Blizzard has an opportunity to create and extremely secure and hardened gaming community. They can do this by waving a magic wand, angering a certain amount of their customer base, and eliminating in one swoop nearly all, if not all, account hacks.

Blizzard can make authenticators a mandatory feature on all Battle.net accounts.

There are many pros and cons such a move would bring about. Let's examine the cons first since everyone likes to complain about stuff. The largest con would be that people would be required to have a physical piece of equipment specific to WoW and other Blizzard games. Some people would obviously not be okay with this and cancel their subscription, and others would not understand how to push a button and punch in numbers (I'm not kidding). There would be a large cry from people around the net, particularly people who enjoy scamming others out of gold and their accounts, but those are easily enough ignored.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics, Account Security

The Queue: Nuts and bolts

Oh boy. Most of us are the walking dead after BlizzCon, but let's get back to something resembling normalcy with a Queue. We're going to start off today with an important matter concerning authenticators and account security, then move on to a bit of WoW.com business and Onyxia. I'd also like to direct attention to two really good comments from the last column re: technical issues, Shadow's and Logarth's.

Zerounit asks...

I recently got an Authenticator in the mail and I noticed something while I was inspecting it: there appears to be no way to open it short of cracking it open with large objects. Is there a battery life on these? If it stops giving me my magic codes, will I have to get a new one?

I got an authenticator for my own use recently and have to admit I hadn't thought to look into the battery life, which is a very good question indeed. A dead authenticator means you have no way of getting into the game (or even into your online account) without official help from Blizzard.

Turns out the little security doodads are manufactured by a company named Vasco, and after poking around their website, I'm reasonably certain that Blizzard authenticators are a variant of Vasco's DIGIPASS GO 6 model. What makes me so sure? The GO 6 model page is the only one accompanied by an article on fraud and hacking in online gaming. They don't come right out and say that Blizzard is a customer, but unless Hello Kitty Online is a bigger hive of scum and villainy than even we gave it credit for, you don't have to be a genius to figure out that World of Warcraft figures prominently in MMORPG account theft.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Features, Account Security, The Queue

The truth about Authenticators [Updated]

After getting a glimpse into the operations and motivations of a scammer, a lot of questions have arisen about the Authenticator. Can it be circumvented? Briefly and with your help, yes. Is having an Authenticator worth the hassle? Absolutely. These are just quick answers, and this is a topic worthy of more in-depth questions and long answers.

What is the Authenticator?

The Authenticator is a small device (pictured right) or an iPhone/iPod Touch app that can be tied to your account and provide an extra layer of security. The application is free, but the physical Authenticator costs $6.50 with free shipping in the U.S. They are also available in other countries.

How does it work?

The Authenticator generates a code that you must enter after entering your username and password when logging into WoW or when accessing your account management screens. This code is a one use code that is valid only for a limited time. But it is valid for longer than it lasts on the Authenticator. A new code is generated every few seconds, but an unused code is valid for longer than that (I'm not sure how long). For more details about how the Authenticator works, please read our interview with Blizzard.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Account Security

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