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Throughout my World of Warcraft career, I have witnessed many friends and guild member's accounts being hacked. Unfortunately, I have also seen the aftermath of hacked accounts and the anger felt by the owners of those accounts. Often Blizzard has aided the persons in question in retrieving their accounts, however sometimes it's a lost cause. Read the guide below to minimize the chances of this ever happening to your beloved WoW account.
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This is probably the most important aspect of keeping those hackers away. Make sure you have a strong, complicated password (numbers and letters preferably). However, no matter how difficult a password is, it's pointless if you simply give it out. If you need to give it out, do so at your own risk; only people you truly trust, and preferably no one you only know through the game.
Changing your password frequently is a great way to keep your account as safe as possible. Once every few weeks should do the trick. Just be careful to remember your new passwords and try and avoid writing them down. Don't make it easy for people around you to pretend to be you online. It's simple, but if only you know your password, then it is not possible for anyone to gain access to your account.
And what ever you do, don't make your password 'password'...
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To make life easier on us, Blizzard offers to remember your account name. This means that the next time you log in you will only need to enter your password. It is advisable that you use this incase a Keylogger (a particular type of Hacking tool) has been watching what you type (more on Keyloggers can be found in Part 2). This way, even if someone does find out your password, they still have to go to the effort of gaining your account name.
Also, when creating your account name it is recommended that you do not make it similar or the same as any of your character's names. For the majority of us this advice comes too late. However, for you new people starting out on WoW, your account name and your characters names are completely separate. Try keeping them that way (and become a hackers worse nightmare)!
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Be Careful of 'WoW' Websites
Perhaps for some it is easier to only remember one password for everything relating to WoW. However, if you are creating an account on a website that is not an official website of Blizzard, it is advised that you try to keep login details different. The site could be run by hackers and you have just hand fed them your important details. Even if it's an external guild website, the chances are it could be hacked if someone really wanted to give it a try. Therefore, be careful of non-official World of Warcraft websites. If you are already using a website with the same login details as your WoW account, it is advised that you change your password promptly.
See part two for more tips on account security!
A must read series of articles covering how to keep your World of Warcraft account secure and deal with other account management issues.