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Account Security and You

Stay Safe!
Believe it or not, there are many people out there who would love to get access to your account or characters, so they can steal that special item that you cherish, or just to be mischevious. Here are some simple guidelines on how to protect your account, your character, and your credit!

Never give anyone your password.
Your password is the key to your character(s) -- it's for you and you alone, so don't give it out to anyone! We don't even let our own staff in the customer service department see them; they don't need to. So please don't send a letter to us with your password!

Another important item to remember about your password is to change it as often as possible. No less than monthly, but weekly is even better. And make sure you don't use a word only. Words out of a dictionary are fairly easy to guess, but if you include numbers, it suddenly becomes a much harder thing to guess. "Camaro" is a neat password, but easy to figure out, while CA23MA5RO is much harder. Your character name, your account name, and your real name should never be used as a password!

We've tried to make it easy for you to change your password on your account. Sign in to the website on your account, and then click on the word "Billing" on the left frame. Then click on the link that says "View Your Account Information". You'll be taken to a page that tells you all of the subscriptions that you have. At the bottom of this page are several links, that allow you to do things such as changing your email address, changing your credit card information, and changing your password, which is as easy as typing in your old account password, and two copies of your new password.

Never send anyone any of your "key" information.
Sensitive account information is contained in the 'key" that our website gives you when you access the games. Some programs or letters ask you to copy the shortcut from the "play using the wizard front end" or "play using Java" buttons on our website. Both of those shortcuts contain the 'key' to your account, and will give anyone you send it to access to your account, and allow them to go in and change your password, or billing information, and gain control over the entire account.

Avoid telling anyone the answer to your security question.
As an additional level of security for people calling in to the Simutronics billing office, each account has a security question and answer. That way we can confirm that the person who is calling has the authority to make changes to the account. If you left your security question as "What is your mother's maiden name?" now is a good time to change it to something a little harder to find the answer to. And don't pick something obvious... any person familiar with Monty Python will know the answer to "What is the airspeed of an unladen swallow?" Stay away from things like "What is my character's name?" or "What game do I play?" Try to be personal, and think of something that almost no one else will know. "What was the name of my first grade teacher" or "What was the size of the engine in my first car?" are good ways to go.

If you must tell someone the answer to your security question, as in the case of doing a character transfer off of your account, change the security question and answer before you give the information to the other person. And then, as soon as the character has been transferred, change the question and answer again, just to be safe!

Never give anyone your credit card info.
If you give someone your card information, including the number and billing address, they might use that information to gain access to your account, or even worse, they can start ordering all sorts of neat stuff on the internet and billing it to your credit card.

Never download applications from email or web sites.
A famous trick that many of the more sophisticated hackers use is to write their own software that does several things, either mimicking our own software, or acting as a utility to increase your enjoyment of the game. Once you install their applications on your computer, it may look harmless, but in the background, it could be grabbing passwords, or any other sort of information that you may have stored on your hard disk, and then secretly emailing it to an address the hacker has set up. Once they get your account name and password in their program, they send it to themselves so they can get into your account. The worst part about this particular scam is that there are so many honest people out there who write nifty utilities with absolutely no intention of stealing your password. We cannot give official approval to any of them, so you will have to assess the risk yourself and make the choice to use them or not. The only software we endorse, and support, is that which you download directly from our own site (look for the http://www.play.net at the beginning of the URL).

Never go "somewhere else" to sign in.
Have you ever received those letters that say that Simutronics (or some odd spelling of our name) is testing a new server, and you should click on the link to go to the new sign-in page? Trust us, we are not sending you that letter. If we have a new server, we'll attach it where the current server is now. We will never send you a letter telling you to go somewhere else to sign in.

Never give anyone your pin numbers.
A pin number is much like your password, except for your character, rather than your account. Some of our systems in development right now might use pin numbers to allow you to do some special things. If you give someone your pin number, it will be the same as giving them your password, or access to your credit card.

Don't share accounts.
We receive hundreds of letters and telephone calls every week from people who thought it would be OK to share an account with someone, be it brother, roommate, significant other, or whatever. Suddenly, in a moment of unclear thought, they sign in to your account, do something nasty with your character, and you, as the account holder, have to live with the results of their actions. This could result in permanent lockouts, characters re-rolled, characters stripped of their inventory -- every permutation of your worst nightmares.

Don't pay for someone else's accounts - use gifts, don't pay directly.
For the same reasons listed above, if you pay for someone else's account with your credit card, you become the account holder, and consequently responsible for all actions taken on that account. If you do have a kind heart, it is much easier to pay for someone else's account using our Gifts of Adventure which are available in the billing area of the website. Or, as another option, you can use a check or money order, and split the payments between your account and theirs.

GameMasters don't work in any instant message applications.
Almost everyone on the Internet uses some sort of program that allows them to communicate instantly with someone else (let's call it IM for this discussion). Most GameMasters have IM up also, to talk to their friends, just like you talk to your friends. But you should know that no GameMasters will ever conduct any official business via any type of IM. All official business will be handled inside the game, be it warnings, assist answering, or anything at all. In fact, if someone IMs you claiming to be a GameMaster, chances are close to 100% that they are not a representative of Simutronics at all.

 
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Simutronics Corporation

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