In the wake or what seems to be a large increase in accounts being reported as compromised or "hacked" I've decided to take the time to put this informative post together for everyone.
First off, you were not "hacked".
Hacking someone's account actually requires a lot more work than it's very likely worth. Cracking code is a pain in the butt and using that information to get access to someone's account is much harder than how people are actually
getting access to your account: it's not secure enough.
The primary reasons your account becomes compromised.
1) Your password is not strong enough.
Far too many people use full words or names as their password, mostly because it's easy for them to remember. Keep in mind, if it's easy for you to remember, it's probably pretty easy for someone to guess. If your password is something like a person or pet's name, you should very likely change it.
Keep your passwords at least 8 characters long (I usually like 10-14 characters if possible) with a random combination of letters (both upper and lower-case), symbols (!@#$%^&* for example) and numbers. The longer and more complex your password, the harder it will be for someone attempting to gain access to your account to guess. Just remember to remember your password (or write it down and keep it in your wallet or something)
2) You are going to websites or clicking on links in emails that you are not familiar with.
This also happens quite a bit. If you receive an email or PM with a link in it and that message didn't come from someone you personally know, DO NOT CLICK ON IT. These links often send users to infected websites or are executable files in disguise. When you click on them, a virus or malware program can easily become installed on your computer without you knowing. These programs are usually limited to things like keylogger programs that feed any information you enter on your machine to the person who made the program.
How do you combat this? Well, first off as I said, don't click on anything or open anything sent from someone you don't know. Second, get a free anti-virus and run it regularly. Microsoft Security Essentials is free and compatable with every version of Windows. Go here and download it if you haven't already: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows/products/security-essentials
3) You are giving your information by accident or are getting scammed.
Rule #1 for this: if a deal is too good to be true, it is. If someone is offering you AP or items in exchange for your account information, DO NOT GIVE IT TO THEM. Why? Because you will never get what they are offering to give you and will lose your account. I know many of you want the "easy path" for free items and whatnot, but 99% of these people offering free stuff for access to your account are just going to log in, change all of your information and steal as much as they can before we can get the account banned and kick them from the game.
The same thing goes for websites that ask for your personal information. Aeria Games will NEVER need your password to get into your account. Ever. EVER, EVER, EVER. Google the Heat Death of the Universe. After that, Aeria STILL won't need your password. This means that ANYONE asking for your password is scamming you. Screenshot them and report them immediately.
Remember, your account security is your responsibility, and we urge you to take precautions when playing from a computer you are not completely familiar with (and even when playing from a shared computer).
If you follow these 3 "golden rules" your account will be much harder for someone other than you to get access to and you won't have to send in a ticket to us to get it back