Lately I've seen some jornals here and there spreading a rumor about a hacker loose on DA, the journal, directly copy-pasted reads:
"Apparently there's a hacker going around, hacking peoples accounts, and blocking YOUR friends so that they block YOU. You then get in trouble and banned from DA.
If you read this warning, care about those around you, you will spread this word, tell everyone so you aren't this guy's next victim. ALSO, If I block or say something to you that isn't appropriate for NO REASON, it's not me.
Please spread the word so no one you know is the hackers next victim!
Thanks for reading and pass it on"
I know that people re-post these journals with good intentions, trying to warn people about this supposed hacker, but what you're actually doing is just spreading fear, which is, I'm pretty sure, what the person who started this rumor wants.
First off know that this kind of rumors have existed on DA since forever, they just re-appear once in a while. Last time there was a great paranoia among the community when the deactivation system was put in place a few years ago and people started fearing someone would come and "hack
" their account and deactivate it.
But most of the times, these supposed "hacking" cases are in reality the result of neglecting your account, having a weak password, leaving your account logged in in a public place, telling your password to a friend, etc. It's really that simple. It's not that an individual used a powerful supercomputer program to hijack your account, it was just a kid who guessed your password.
So what can you do? Instead of spreading a rumor about a hacker, which only infuses fear among the community, it would be better if you spread the word about the measures you can take to reinforce the security of your account.
- Spread the word about deviantArt's official response about the matter - Account Security - An Update
- Be sure to have a strong password! It's more important than you think. Don't use a simple, easy to guess password. Don't use words related to you, like the name of your dog, your own name, the city you live in, or the names of your OTP, etc. Those can be easily guessed by people who know you. Use caps, numbers and symbols and try to avoid obvious combinations like "abc", "asdf" or "123456".
- Change your password once in a while. If you notice a strange activity in your account go and change your password immediatly.
- Don't leave your account logged in in public places, if you go to a public library or cafe be sure to uncheck options like "Remember my password" and the like. Sometimes the browser itself asks you if you want it to remember the password. Say NO. And when you're done, be sure to log out.
- Don't give your password to anyone. I know you might have friends you think you can trust or a boyfriend/girlfriend you really love, but you can never know.
- Remember to beware of phishing scams, I recommend you read this journal: News to know: beware of phishing scams.
- It's actually well explained in the last point but I'll put it here if you feel lazy to click on the link: be careful to double-check the url of every page requesting your password, some people manage to create very convincing fake login pages to gain control of your account if you input your password there. There is an example of these fake pages in this journal. Aditionally, remember that DA will never ask for your password via email, if you receive a notice from an allegedly deviantart email account asking for your password, the most probable thing is that is fake. (And every email account from DA will come from @deviantart.com, NEVER from hotmail or gmail or any other)
- Another excellent tip is to ensure all your security measures are also up to day for the email address you have connected to your account. If your email isn't secure malicious users can gain access and recover your password.
- One last thing: if for whatever reason your account gets hijacked, know of the correct procedure to regain control of it: FAQ #660: My deviantART account has been hacked. What can I do?
So there! mystery solved!
More than fearing a hacker hijacking your account, take the necessary measures to assure you have your account well protected and don't neglect it! And instead of keep spreading false rumors, spread the word about these tips. Don't feed fear, spread information!
That's all for today! Happy thursday!