Safety First

safety_largeI really don’t like the idea that the ugly side of the Internet has come to our friendly community, but, once in a while, &$#% gets real. We’ve had members of our community doxxed, Twitter accounts hacked and deleted, and many of us wondering what happened to the happy, safe little group we refer to as ‘Twizards’. I’m not pretending to be any sort of security expert here, all I can do is make a few suggestions that people far, far smarter than I have made.

1) CHANGE YOUR PASSWORDS! Go do that now. Don’t use the same passwords for different sites, particularly ones that might have access to any of your financial resources, private information, or your e-mail. If you think it’s too difficult to remember all those passwords, there are plenty of ways to help with this. I use a free, secure password safe app on my mobile phone called ‘Keeper’ to keep track of them, but there are a number of ways you could do that yourself. You could even go old school and just get a small notebook and write them down.

2) TAKE ADVANTAGE OF EXTRA LAYERS OF PROTECTION! Many MMORPGs offer a free authenticator app or a small authenticator device. Some banks do the same. Other services, Twitter included, will force you to enter a code they send to you in a text message every time you log in to Twitter. Those aren’t completely bulletproof, but they’re awfully close.

3) WATCH OUT FOR YOUR FRIENDS! One of the best ways we can beat these guys is watching out for each other. Keep an eye on your friends’ social media feeds (which you probably do anyway) for anything out of the ordinary, and check with them if something seems out of the ordinary.

We’ve been lucky that we haven’t had to really deal with this kind of hacking in the KI community, but it’s here. Now we need to protect ourselves. Our community can still be this great, friendly, helpful place, but we just need to be careful. If you’ve got any security tips, please leave them in comments. We could all use all the help we can get.

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