Wednesday, January 19, 2011

WoW PSA: The Authenticator

Penny Arcade has a comic up (probably NSFW) about Gabe getting his World of Warcraft account hacked, all of his phat lewts stolen, and his character left in the middle of nowhere... and being that I had my own WoW account hacked over Thanksgiving, I thought I could add some more anecdotal evidence to the implication to secure your own WoW account a little more thoroughly. Getting your account hacked is not fun... I was anxious and cranky the whole holiday weekend after it happened... and if you're as dumb as I was, and have the same password for WoW (or anything) as your primary linked e-mail account (change that!), then you can be vulnerable to a lot more than having your characters stripped naked. Luckily for me, it seems all the Chinese hackers wanted was to broadcast gold farming spam until the account got locked, but clearly it could have been far far worse.

Enter the Authenticator, which comes as either a key chain fob that you buy for $6.50 from Blizz, or an app you download to your iPhone/Android based smartphone for free. Either version just supplies you with a random number to enter along with your password every time you log on. Yes, it's a little weird at first that your video game characters are more secure than your bank account, but it's totally worth it in my view. I've got the mobile app, and since I always have my phone nearby it's been pretty convenient. Just a suggestion, but it could save you some serious future frustration to get it now...  before your account gets hacked.

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