Choosing a strong, unique, and memorable password for your account is one of the most important measures you can take to prevent it from falling into the wrong hands. This guide will help you as you brainstorm passwords for your online accounts, as well as outline additional steps you can take to guard against hackers.
Choosing a Strong Password
Whether you’re creating a brand-new account or want to update your current password, there are a few fundamentals to keep in mind when coming up with a new password.
Click to expand each section below for more details:
First and foremost: NEVER use the same password (or variant of a password) that you've used somewhere else.
The first rule of account security is to come up with a unique password for every online account you own. When you use a common password (or slight variations of a favorite password) to access multiple sites, it only takes one of those sites being hacked for someone to use that information to access your Guild Wars 2 account.
So, as a rule, make sure every password you use for your online accounts is distinct and unique! Adding or swapping a letter, number, or symbol in a password isn’t enough to protect your accounts in this day and age. Modern password-cracking programs can rapidly check for simple variations of known passwords as they work to access an account. This is why selecting unique passwords for every online account you own is an important first step in preventing hackers from accessing your information.
Use letters, numbers, and symbols in creative ways.
While it's always recommended that you use a variety of letters, numbers, and symbols in your passwords, relying on obvious substitutions doesn't make your password that much harder to guess. In fact, most password-cracking tools will now substitute and test common password variants like these automatically, and most people know how to decipher l33t sp3ak.
- Example: Turning James into J4mes isn't going to slow down someone trying to take control of your account.
- Example: Changing Ranger into R@ng3r may utilize more special characters, but isn't hard for hacking programs to decipher and test.
Guild Wars 2 lets you use a variety of special characters in your passwords—all of which can be used to increase the complexity of your password and make it harder for hackers to guess. Use them in creative, personal ways rather than relying on well-known substitutions!
Never use common words or phrases!
While one effective method of creating a password is to string together several random words, you should always avoid using obvious combinations of words, common phrases, or words that are naturally paired together in your language. The key is to choose random words that don't make sense when paired together.
Here are a few examples of common phrases you should definitely avoid:
- The Quick Brown Fox
- Video Gamer
- Guild Wars Two
- I Love You
Never use personal information in your password!
Your name, pet name, family members, birth date, anniversary, etc. are private details that you should always avoid using in your password. This information can usually be found online or gained by social engineers—people who manipulate others to reveal information about themselves. If you use this sort of information in your password, you may be more vulnerable to attack.
Asmu,m,&sp! (Abbreviated sentences make unique, memorable, and strong passwords!)
A good method to come up with a strong password is to use an abbreviated version of a sentence that only makes sense to you. Here are a few examples:
- WIw7,mstmsritt. = When I was seven, my sister threw my stuffed rabbit in the toilet.
- Itmcwloc&s = I take my coffee with lots of cream and sugar
- I<3Rbthtff! = I love Rangers because they have the fuzziest friends!
- Tatw.M4ever! = Thieves are the worst. Mesmers forever!
These passwords use a variety of letters, numbers, and symbols, and end up being long and difficult enough for hackers to decipher. At the same time, basing it on a personal experience makes it easy for you to remember!
Longer passwords are better.
Guild Wars 2 allows passwords that vary from eight to sixty-four digits! While we recommend that you use twelve digits as a bare minimum, you are encouraged to create the longest password that you can remember. This will make it harder for anyone (other than you) to access your account.
What else can I do to keep my password protected?
- Consider downloading a reputable password manager to store all of your unique passwords. This will help you create complex passwords for all your different online accounts without having to remember every single one.
- If you keep a physical copy of your password, make sure it’s stored somewhere private and secure.
- Never save your password in an unencrypted computer format. This includes emailing it to yourself or saving it in a text document on your hard drive.
- Never use your Guild Wars 2 account password (or any variant) on any other account or website.
- Never share your password with anyone else—even trusted friends or relatives. You may be able to trust your best friend not to steal your account, but you can’t guarantee that their little brother won’t accidentally install a virus on the family computer.
I want to create an account or change my password, but I get an “Unavailable password” message.
For our players’ protection, we maintain an ever-growing blacklist of passwords that cannot be used. This list of "known" and compromised passwords includes passwords from multiple sources:
- Any passwords you've ever used on your account.
- Any passwords used or in-use by another account.
- Any passwords that known hackers have tried to use to access accounts in our system.
- Any passwords that are known to have been stolen from other games or websites.
If you see the “Unavailable Password” message when you're trying to set your password, you may be using disallowed characters or, more likely, the password you’re trying to use is currently on the password blacklist. Try coming up with another password—one that is unique and does not use special characters (including accents).
Is there anything else I can do to protect my account?
Yes! Guild Wars 2 supports two-factor authentication, which allows you to use your mobile device or SMS messaging to control access to your game account. Visit this article for more information about securing your account with authentication.