Twitch app

Online streaming video game service Twitch has been the subject of recent discussion about account hacking. A significant number of Twitch account users have reported that their accounts were taken over by someone without access. The company, however, did not suffer a data breach.

According to an article in TechCrunch, the connection seems to be a January 2019 data breach of a specific game elsewhere online known as “Town of Salem” (ToS). Apparently, players of ToS who reused their login credentials on their Twitch accounts, meaning they used the same username and password on both websites, accidentally handed access to their Twitch accounts to the hackers.

Reusing Passwords Leads to Account Takeover

Experts have long warned the tech-using public about reusing their passwords and using passwords that are too common or too easily guessed. With the Twitch account takeovers, though, the sheer volume of user complaints shows that hackers may be using automated bots that can search the web in rapid-fire for any possible account matches.

Fortunately, avoiding a threat like the Twitch account hack is one of the easiest things gamers can do: stop repeating your passwords.

With the number of online games, streaming services and gaming platforms that are available to avid players, it is important to secure every single account with a unique set of login credentials. If you are concerned about memorizing countless unique, lengthy passwords, you can use a password manager service. These companies usually require you to use two-factor authentication to log into your single account, then they autogenerate intensely difficult, unguessable passwords for all of the accounts you link to them. You only have to get through one big security door each day, then all of your accounts are protected.

Create a Unique Password

However, gamers are some of the more tech-savvy users out there, and a single-login system might feel a little “exposed” to some players. If a password manager does not feel very secure, you can create a unique system for establishing all of your passwords. You start with a random phrase or character combination that means something to you, like the name of your favorite song or the reverse-order of all the first initials for every pet you have ever owned. Get creative, but make it memorable. Then, for every single account you create (or password you update), add different numbers and letters to your lengthy catchphrase. One game platform login might be [name of the platform in reverse order + name of song + #1], while another platform could be [name of platform backwards + name of song + #2], and so on.

Keep Separate from Other Accounts

That way, if hackers did manage to find out your Twitch account password, for example, they do not have access to your Gamefly or email account. Updating your accounts regularly is also a great idea, and with a system like this, the only part you have to change is the number at the end, the name of the song or some other keyword in there. Remember, it might just a game to some people, but real gamers know that their accounts are serious business. No matter how you choose to protect yourself, you must take your gaming account security seriously and stay up-to-date on your password safety.

Contact the Identity Theft Resource Center for toll-free, no-cost assistance at 888.400.5530. For on-the-go assistance, check out the free ID Theft Help App from ITRC.

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