Account Security and You
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
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
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