Most people are aware of the need to protect their financial accounts, and generally take at least some degree of care to prevent criminals from accessing their money. Protecting your online game account, on the other hand, might not be such an obvious priority, but when accounts created for playing massively multiplayer online games are not properly secured, but connected to credit card accounts, gamers set themselves up for fraud.

PCMech offers some insider tips for MMO players. The fundamentals of account protection include:

Password protection: Never give out your password. If you contact customer service and they ask you to verify your account by providing a “knowledge-based answer,” such as the name of your pet or high school, it’s okay to answer. But never provide any identifying information in response to an unsolicited phone call or email from someone who may be posing as a representative of the MMO.

Beware of infected downloads: Add-ons and modifications downloaded from unofficial sources may be infected with spyware. PCMech’s Nick Greene suggests checking out a game’s online forum to get recommendations for reputable download sources.

Secure connected accounts: For example, if your social networking or email accounts are in any way connected to your MMO account, they both need to be equally secure, with unique passwords.

And, as always, it’s vital to keep your PC up-to-date with antivirus, anti-spyware, anti-phishing, and firewall protection. Remember to update your critical security patches, as well.

While players must do what they can to protect their accounts, the more mature gaming publishers employ multiple layers of defense behind the scenes, to protect their valued members. One proactive anti-fraud technology that doesn’t interrupt the player experience and keeps the bad guys out, is called device reputation, which examines computers, smartphones, and tablets being used to connect to a game, and helps gaming publishers know who to trust in order to keep their players safe and in a fun environment.

 Robert Siciliano, personal security and identity theft expert contributor to iovation, discusses identity theft  in front of the National Speakers Association. (Disclosures)

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