If you have recently gained access to the Playstation Network again, you might be wondering if you are ‘safe’. While Sony certainly dropped the ball this month, there are certain steps you can take to protect yourself online. Not just with the Playstation Network, but with general ‘store’ related activity.
To many this might seem logical, but we noticed today that CNET had created a short list of points to aid people with their online experience.
- If for some reason you haven’t been prompted to change your PSN password, do it now. Obviously, you can’t change it through the PSN Web site if the password reset function is down, but you can do it through your console. Pick a password that is unique and strong and used only on this service. If you were using your PSN password on other services, change those too.
- Create a new e-mail account to be used just for your PSN activity. One of the potential threats from the data breach, beyond the password resent problem, is phishing e-mails. Whoever has the list of stolen e-mail addresses and other personal data from PSN could now send targeted e-mails to PSN customers, pretending to be Sony and tricking customers into revealing their passwords and credit card information on a fake Sony Web site. Changing your e-mail will eliminate this threat.
- Buy a pre-paid PlayStation Network Card to use at the PSN Store and delete your existing credit card information there. You can purchase the cards in $10, $20, and $50 denominations at Best Buy, GameStop, Amazon, 7-11 and other retail stores. If the card number is stolen it can only be used on the PSN Store and any loss is limited to the value of the card. The PlayStation Store does not accept any other types of pre-paid cards.
- Monitor your credit card or debit card account associated with your PSN account. Sony has said it has no evidence credit card information was stolen but can’t rule out the possibility that it was. As a result, the company is offering free identity protection through a company called Debix. Debix will be watching for signs of identity fraud, but the service hasn’t kicked in yet for people in the U.S., at least. And it’s always a good idea to keep a close eye out for suspicious transactions when your financial data may have been exposed.
It is worth pointing out that for UK gamers point 4 isn’t an option, because the Sony Identity fraud coverage is only for US residents. Still, we do strongly recommend that for these kinds of activities that you use a ‘non primary’ email address.
KitGuru says: Are you back online and enjoying the free content from Sony?