How to protect your account from unauthorized access

Unauthorized access means that somebody else, not you, has fraudulently gained access to your account. Generally, account hacking is perceived as a rather difficult and technologically intensive process. However, in majority of cases users themselves give out vital and confidential information to hackers. 

In this article we will explain you how unauthorized access happens and how to protect your accounts. We hope that after having read this article you will take all recommended measures to protect your accounts.

Content: 

 

Rule 1: Never give out your login name and password to anybody

This rule is generally posted in the most prominent and easily accessible place; it seems too clear and straightforward to be taken into account seriously. However, according to statistics the most common case of unauthorized account access is when an attacker somehow finds out login and password of an account holder. Intruders usually pretend to be game managers, victim’s relatives or friends. They also offer handsome amounts of in-game gold and credits in order to gain access to confidential information, asking users to share their login and password in order to claim ‘gazillion gold’ prizes.  At a less malicious level, unauthorised access can also occur at the hands of an over-enthusiastic ounger sibling or a friend trying to be 'helpful'.  Letting anyone into your account can cause problems for you!

Remember, if somebody, even if it’s a Wargaming CEO, asks you for a password of your account, do not share it under any circumstances! We would also appreciate if you inform our Support Service Team about cases when potential attackers are trying to find out your confidential information. This will help us to rid World of Tanks from another rascal stealing accounts.

 

Rule 2: Update your Internet browser to the latest version

We may have you a little surprised you with this rule. Why update a browser if the game runs from a client? Let us explain. Your web browser is just like any other software - it is made by people, so it may contain bugs or have vulnerabilities. Typically, developers are pretty quick to eliminate them and release an updated version. However, if you do not update regularly, your web browser may stay vulnerable to external attacks and criminals could steal data from your account.

Normally, your web browser can automatically download and install updates, or offer to install them. However, the safest way is to check periodically your browser web site for the latest version. We would recommend you to use one of the browsers listed below, but please note that we are not able to provide technical support related to any problems with these products:

 

Rule 3: Turn on phishing filter in your browser

Perhaps phishing is a term unfamiliar to you, but we'll explain everything. Phishing is a way of fraudulently attempting to acquire information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details.

In order to steal your confidential information thieves create phishing sites whose main goal is to trick you into giving away your login and password. For example, they may use a web site hat looks identical to the real game site but the address will not be worldoftanks.eu. Instead it will be something very similar, e.g. wordoftanks.eu or worldotanks.eu. A fake site interface would seem very familiar to the one you are used to, but by entering your data on this site means you would most likely lose your account.

Another example of a phishing site is so-called cheat or script collectors to hack a server. Usually on this type of site you would see a very basic design and a bit of text where a website creator brags how he has cracked the game server. He also ‘generously’ offers to load any account with gold. The only thing he needs is your username and password in order to complete ‘a transaction.’

Activating the phishing filter in your browser will help you to detect the attack in progress. When attempting to open a phishing website your browser will notify you that this site is fake and prevent it from loading. Please read how to enable the filter in your browser:

If you are using Internet Explorer 8 or newer:

  1. Launch Internet Explorer.
  2. Click on Tools, choose SmartScreen Filter, and then opt for Turn on SmartScreen Filter. If in menu you see notification Turn off SmartScreen Filter, it means that the filter is already activated.
  3. When a pop-up menu opens, make sure that Turn on SmartScreen Filter is activated and then press OK.

If you are using Mozilla Firefox (v 2.0 or higher):

  1. Launch Mozilla Firefox
  2. Click on Tools, choose Options, and then opt for Security.
  3. Make sure that all three options are activated (check boxes):
    • Warn me when sites try to install add-ons.
    • Block reported attack sites.
    • Block reported web forgeries.

If you are using Opera (v 9.1 or higher):

  1. Launch Opera
  2. Click on Settings, choose Preferences and then Advanced, opt for Security.
  3. Make sure that Enable Fraud Detection is activatede.

If you are using Google Chrome:

  1. Launch Google Chrome
  2. Click on Options, and then opt for Advanced.
  3. Click on Enable phishing and malware protection.

 

Rule 4: Regularly update the operating system on your computer

It is not just your browser that needs updating.  You also need to keep the operating system on your computer up to date. Installing the latest updates will help to patch up holes in security features and improve the overall system performance.

Below you will find instruction on how to update the operating system on your computer:

If you are using Windows 7:

  1. Press Start
  2. Launch Windows Update program.
  3. Follow step-by-step instructions listed in the program.

More information about Windows 7 updates may be found here.

If you are using Windows Vista: 

Windows Vista Service Pack 2 is the latest available update and it provides additional important improvements to Windows Vista. In order to install SP2, you must first have Windows Vista Service Pack 1 installed.

To learn if SP2 is already installed:

Click the Start button, right-click Computer, and then click Properties.

If Service Pack 2 is listed in the Windows edition section, SP2 is already installed on your computer and you don't need to follow the instructions below.

To install SP2 using Windows Update:

  1. Make sure you are connected to the Internet.
  2. In the left pane, click Check for updates.
  3. Click the Start button, click All Programs, and then click Windows Update.
  4. Click View available updates. In the list of updates, select Service Pack for Microsoft‌ Windows (KB948465), and then click Install. If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

More information about Windows Vista updates may be found here.

If you are using Windows XP: 

With the Automatic Updates feature, Windows XP can automatically download and install the most important updates for you (including most security updates). Automatic updating can help protect your computer from new and emerging security threats. However, many updates require some user feedback before they can be installed.

To enable Automatic Updates:

  1. Use Microsoft Internet Explorer to visit Microsoft Update.
  2. On the right side of the page, Internet Explorer displays the current status of Automatic Updates:
      - If Automatic Updates is turned on, your computer is protected. Windows XP will automatically install updates. You don’t need to follow the rest of these steps.
      - If Automatic Updates is turned off, click Turn on Automatic Updates.
  3. In the Automatic Updates window, click OK.  

More information about Windows XP updates may be found here.

Caution: 

  • Support for Windows Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1) ended on July 12, 2011.
  • Support for Windows XP with Service Pack 2 (SP2) ended on July 13, 2010.*

If you're running one of these versions after support ends, you won't get security updates for Windows.

* Note: There's no SP3 for the 64-bit version of Windows XP. If you’re running the 64-bit version of Windows XP with SP2, you have the latest service pack and will continue to be eligible for support and receive updates until April 8, 2014.

More information on Windows XP updates may be found here.

 

Rule 5: Make sure that your registered e-mail address is secure

Your e-mail address is vital in helping to protect your account. E-mail is used to help you regain control of your account in case of break-ins, forgotten passwords etc. Even if you protect your account, unsecure e-mail can negate all your efforts. Here are some recommendations for looking after your e-mail address:

  • Try not to use an e-mail with which accounts of other services are registered. The less is known about the e-mail where you registered your account the better.
  • Do not use the same password for the game as for your e-mail.
  • Regularly change your e-mail password.
  • Regularly check your mail settings. Make sure nobody has sent up forwarding of your incoming mail to someone else's address, or altered your security question. These backdoors could allow attackers to gain access to your account time and time again.
  • Do not store notifications of game password changes. It is best to delete such messages after reading.

 

Rule 6: Set the secret question

Having the secret question significantly increases the security of your account. Think about the answer which would be impossible to guess or find out by your friends and relatives.

Do not use an answer to your secret question, which can be easily guessed, or give a completely detached answer. For instance, if your secret question is "My vehicle registration number," the answer should not necessary reflect the truth. Instead of your car registration number you can opt for, let’s say, your father’s birth date.

More information about Secret Question may be found here

 

Rule 7: Make sure that your PC is free of malicious software

In addition to a variety of attempts to steal your password, attackers may also make use of computer viruses. These are special programs designed to perform certain actions on users’ computer without their knowledge. For example, viruses may identify and steal login and password from your account. Thus, even if you are careful and follow the rules listed above, your username and password can still be stolen without your knowledge.

To avoid these malicious attacks, you must use antivirus software and antispyware programs. These will ensure that your PC remains safe from any programs that can steal your data.

Most antivirus and antispyware programs should be periodically updated. This is due to the fact that over time the web gets flooded with new viruses. Developers regularly release updates for antivirus software so that protection agains vruses stays completely up to date. Be sure to use the latest version of antivirus software.

Antivirus programs 

Antivirus programs scan PC memory and hard drives for viruses and then remove them. The following list shows the most popular antivirus programs:

Antispyware programs 

Antispyware programs scan computer hard drives and memory for malicious programs, which without your knowledge gather information on how a computer operates. Such programs may be causing various technical failures: "freezes," spontaneous closures of programs and games, Internet connection problems, etc.

 

Rule 8: Regularly change your passwords 

We understand that it is very inconvenient to invent new passwords and remember them, especially if your password is not a pet’s name but a set of uppercase and lowercase letters mixed with numbers. However, if you stick to these easy steps, you will protect yourself from a world of trouble:

  • Do not use the same password for different services. If an attacker discovers your password, not only will your account in World of Tanks suffer, but all your other services as well.
  • Use complicated, i.e. strong passwords. If you use a simple password (such as any English word), then this account will be much easier to hack through the password dictionary crypts. For example, if your password is ‘apple,’ a special software will pick it up very quickly, starting the search with a letter ‘A.’ On the other hand, it will take a whole year or even more to crack a very strong password such as KLhfd44Odsjf8443htlmsasd.
  • Last but not least, if somehow evildoers get to know your password, regular password changes will help you to get out of harm’s way.
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