While the veteran gamers of the world eagerly await the announcement of a new Microsoft console, the 8-year old Xbox 360 continues to sell strongly each month. All of these new units flying off the shelves means that thousands of newbies will be introduced to the online gaming network that is Xbox Live. If you’re switching on that magic black box for the first time, here are 4 tips to remember about protecting your Xbox Live account:
Don’t Use Your Full Name In Your Gamertag’s Profile
You’ll probably give it to Microsoft at some point during your Xbox’s registration, but that doesn’t mean you have to display it for the entire community to see. Your full name can be searched through social media to give some unscrupulous individual your email address, which is half of what’s needed to access your Xbox Live account. No matter how proud you are of your 8,000 kills in Halo 4, the world doesn’t need to know your avatar’s last name.
Use Xbox Live Cards Instead Of Your Credit Card
There are a variety of ways to pay for your Xbox Live service, as well as the games, movies, and other downloadable content. You can always keep your credit or debit card on file with Microsoft, but that sensitive info will be available to strangers if your account ever becomes compromised. A safer way to buy content is with a pre-loaded Xbox Live card, which lets you purchase points and upload them to your account with a password. Not only will this make your account safer, you’ll occasionally save money if you buy the Live cards off Amazon during a discount, and you’ll save on sales tax as well.
Use A Separate Email For Your Xbox Live Account
If you won’t be uploading your credit card number, there’s really no reason to get constant updates from Microsoft regarding your Xbox Live account. If you make a separate email that is used solely for your interactions with the Live service, you’ll prevent others from learning your login username, even if they uncover your main email from your profile.
Any Website That Advertises Free Xbox Live Points Is A Scam
This may sound like the most obvious of points, but Internet phishing scams continue to exist year after year because people keep falling for them. These ones work by proclaiming free Xbox Live points from a site that somewhat passably resembles Microsoft, with the only requirement on your part being to provide your username and password. If you’ve just purchased an Xbox for a younger child—or anyone else who is new to the online gaming world—they might be among the people who get taken in by this scam. Remember that Microsoft never, ever asks anyone to log in to anything but your official Xbox Live account. Anything else is sure to be a dangerous site.
There is a ton of info out there about protecting your Xbox Live profile, but if you keep these 4 simple tips in mind, you’ll have a much lower chance of ever needing any additional security on your account.
John is a blogger who loves the Xbox Live service, although he thinks the video advertisements that automatically start playing in the corner of the screen are from the devil. He writes for Protect Your Bubble, an Internet insurer that can help protect your identity if your Live account ever does get compromised.