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Once again, Blizzard is encouraging its players to use authenticators to protect their Battle.net accounts. In addition to the incentive of a lovable Core Hound Pup pet provided to all World of Warcraft characters on an account that has an authenticator attached, there is now a contest going on to win an iPad for your best Core Hound Pup screenshot, and we've even received reports that free authenticators are being offered to owners of accounts that have previously been compromised. Still, incentives alone aren't enough for some players. Sometimes it takes an incident to drive the point home.

For me, it was a hacking scare involving my girlfriend's account. We had just resubbed to WoW in preparation for Cataclysm and were having a blast when she got a notification from Blizzard that her account had been locked due to an unauthorized break-in. Nothing was gone, no items destroyed, no gibberish-named level 1s created, but she did have to change her password and verify to Blizzard that she was still herself. She was playing on a Mac, used Adblock and had disabled Flash on her browser, and she only visited a handful of websites on a daily basis, all very innocuous places like Gmail and WoW Insider. We figured it was an isolated incident, but just to make sure, she wiped her hard drive and reinstalled WoW. Then, a week later, it happened again. I couldn't believe it, and I still don't know how or why she was targeted, but I ordered our authenticators the very next day. We haven't had a problem since.

What convinced you to get an authenticator? Was it a contest, a promotion by Blizzard, or a hacking scare? If you don't have an authenticator yet, what's holding you back?

This article was originally published on WoW Insider.