This post is dedicated retrospectively to Mageshadow and sent with warm gold hugs to him and others who have had their world of warcraft accounts hacked.

1. Keep your CDs and CD key safe.  You might need these if you have to contact Blizzard to get your account reinstated.

2. Have a Strong Password. Avoid commonly used words, names, personal data such as birthdays, and use a combination of letters and numbers. The passwords qwerty and abc123 are going to get your hacked.
3. Don’t share accounts. Don’t give your password to anyone else, not even family. Has anyone else heard other players in their guild saying “but I only let my brother use it once” from players who then discover that their charming younger brother has either deleted stuff, sold gear, bought loads of crap from AH you don’t want, or boasted and spread your password all around his school. On a side note, why is it always “my younger brother” who does this? Don’t any of you have grannies with a fetish for vendoring Tier sets?
4. Don’t click strange links in websites, especially if you’re surfing the dodgier side of the web ‘accidently’ waiting for free software to fall off the back of a lorry. Yes, I do know about your passion for midget pron. Be ashamed!
5. Keep your antivirus and firewall up to date.
6. Watch out for phishing. Chances are, that email isn’t real. There are some easy ways to recognise fake phishing emails. Check for spelling, grammar, and downright bad manners. Never reply with your account and email. Never click a link in an email. Never enter your password at a dodgy website. You might as well just mail them your credit card and a birthday card!
7. Never log onto World of Warcraft from a computer that isn’t your own, or one you know is 100% free of virus, keyloggers and evil software. Even if you practice perfect Internet security at home, you’ll waste all that effort if you log on from a friends machine that has been compromised. If in doubt, miss the raid, and grovel to your guild leader later. You know he likes grovelling anyway.

Guild leaders, don’t let any guild members have access to your guild bank unless they have an authenticator. You can set this up in the guild ranks.
9. Get an authenticator. They’re easy to set up and use, and very cheap. I’m terrible at losing mine, so I threaded a big shiny cord through it, and now it doesn’t get lost in my Desk-mess of D00M.  On a side note,you also get a cute ingame pet.

10. Be careful which addons you download. Choose a site that you know is safe and stick to it for all your downloads.
11. Keep your operating system up to date. Windows isn’t the healthiest OS in the world. No, it isn’t, and don’t start an argument about it. I’m thrilled that you use linux, but some of us mortals have to make do with Windoze, deal. Click Windows Update in the Start menu.
12. Don’t use powerleveling services. Don’t buy gold. End of discussion. Oh, you still need to know why? Let’s ask Blizzard:

Supporting these types of illicit services is not only against the Terms of Use, but it promotes botting, spamming, and other forms of exploitation — as well as account theft. While the promise of gold stockpiles and effortless level-85s may be tempting, you could end up paying more than just cash for sharing your account information with these companies. (Also, that gold you’re interested in buying? We’ve found that it is most commonly stolen from compromised accounts and turned around to be sold back to other players. Not cool.

And in case you’re still dead set on giving your email account and password to a random foreign company whose business is based on violating Blizz’s terms of use:

Through our normal support processes and the assistance of players, we also find that many accounts that have been shared with powerleveling services are then hacked into months later, and all of the items on the account are stripped and sold off. Basically, players have paid money to these companies, sometimes large amounts, and they’re then targeted by these same companies down the road. We come across stories every week of the after-effects of players using these services, and some players now have to deal with long-term repercussions — in addition to consequences such as possible account suspension or closure, in many cases the companies they paid use their personal information to perpetrate identity theft and credit card fraud. These are long-lasting effects on players’ personal lives that can take years to recover from.

If you are desperate to make a whole load of gold really fast, you’re very welcome to read through all the free tips and strategies I post at the Gold Queen. Alternatively, can I convince you to follow one of my affiliate links and buy a gold guide instead?


PS. If you do get hacked, visit the Blizzard Help I got Hacked Guide.
7 replies
  1. Kammler
    Kammler says:

    One thing I was told by the Blizz rep after I got hacked about 18 months ago was to set up a separate email address only used for logging in to your account.

    They think a lot of the hacks come from people getting their email hacked first then their Blizz accounts.

  2. Altolycus
    Altolycus says:

    My first thoughts were to leave a snarky, maicious, spammy and full of drama comment with quite a bit of bad language mixed in.

    However as I started typing, I noticed that you dont allow them…

    So I will say great post on keeping safe. And mention that iPhones and Droid has apps with authenticators on them, but make sure not to use them unless they are from Blizzard (there are apps out right now that are snatching your data). Just an FYI.

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