Putting the MO in MMOG

The big news this week is apparently account security. Several sites have been going off the hinges lately about account security and it seems that the gold sellers are getting desperate. Keyloggers, phishing emails, scams, mystery hacks, etc. are in full force around the Internet. Queues for character restoration have reached the “weeks” point. WoW.com reports that it has “inside sources” that say Blizzard may soon require authenticators!

I’m fired up this week and my soul is burning with excitement because there is finally something to talk about. The account security issues are apparently SO BAD that people are given the option of forgoing their restoration for a care package with 2,500 gold, 10 Emblems of Frost, and 10 Emblems of Triumph for each day they’ve waited. Woah! Wait a second, that’s kind of lame eh? I’d need over 200 Emblems of Triumph to fix my character’s gear to where it’s at now and almost 100 Emblems of Frost! I have over 30,000 gold too. I better not get hacked any time soon huh?

Well, knock on wood, I won’t. Because I’m web savvy enough to know basic Internet protocols. Let’s review them real quick dear readers of The Fabulous Overpull of Awesomesauce.

Antivirus software is a must, no matter if it ruins your FPS, uses popups or even schedules downloads for itself. You need some kind of security software running. You can pick these up at your local mega-mart or electronics store. There are free versions out there such as AVG, but you sometimes get what you pay for. Make sure it’s scheduled to scan often and that it can cover spyware too.
Windows Update is a good thing, so turn it on and make sure it’s updating. Information on this is in Windows’ help files OR in the Mac help files (and the options are in both of their control panels).
Never give your password to anyone, use a good strong password, and use different passwords for each and every website. Adding a “1” or “a” or anything to the end on a new site isn’t good enough, the bad people know those tricks.
Do not share accounts.
Do not use any third party services.
There are more, but really be smart and you’ll be fine. I’ve yet to know a single person who was smart about ‘net security that has ever been hacked. Some people have made arguments that it “happened out of nowhere”, but I imagine that fat stack of gold they mysteriously had “happened out of nowhere” too.

Lastly I want all of my readers to know something. This isn’t new. The care bags are, the rumors of people exploiting Blizzard customer service are kinda new, and the paranoia launched by a bunch of sites is new but this problem isn’t. Don’t fall into some kind of mass paranoia and buy into a ton of extra security software and pay certain electronic stores to “secure” your computer for several hundred bucks. Just be smart about it.

If you’re really paranoid get the authenticator. It’ll help keep your account safe. If you somehow do get hacked, which I find unlikely still, do not take their care package unless it is somehow better than what your level 80 had before which is unlikely. Sure you can farm up all your stuff again, but come on!

So next time you login ask yourself if you’re being social enough. Instead of PuGing it up solo try grouping up with others from your guild. Instead of farming achievements by yourself seek out others to join you. Try out raiding if you’ve never done it, even if you’re going to fail. Do things with others! Don’t just wallow in the loneliness that is yourself. It helps make the game A LOT more enjoyable, even if it’s awkward at first.

One last thing, if you really do have fun playing solo and you honestly are having a blast, then by all means continue. I just don’t see a lot of people being capable of keeping to themselves all the time in an online game that’s made for being social.

That’s the Overpull this week. Stay tuned next week for more awesome news, funny stories, lore, and questions rolled together in your ultimate WoW newsletter.