How easily can your account be hacked?

You've probably heard the stories before. A friend's roommate's cousin once got his WoW account hacked. The hacker took all of his character's items and gold, and left a few naked, violated characters to fend for themselves. It conjures the same feelings as coming home to find your house has been broken into, or walking out to the driveway in the morning to find your car is gone.

There has been a recent phenomenon of hacked accounts lately, more than ever. WoW had a recent problem with Xfire, and several people got their accounts hacked. The leader of Rebel Rising [rawr], one of the top PvP guilds in Guild Wars just got their account hacked and the hacker disbanded the entire [rawr] alliance and deleted the guild. This is a guild that had worked for years to establish itself in the GW PvP community, including its very own tournament cup named after them. But the fact that it can all go away so easily, as it did from one hacker, makes us aware of the inherent dangers and vulnerabilities we face in this environment.

So we'll say what's been said by the game developers time and time again: don't download questionable third-party add-ons. Don't give anyone your account name or password. In fact, the best thing to do is to create an email account specifically for that game account and create a password that you don't share with any other accounts anywhere. Taking a few extra minutes to do these things can save you the frustration you'd face when you realize that hundreds or thousands of hours of gameplay were completely lost due to carelessness.
This article was originally published on Massively.