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There have been recent issues with Xbox Live accounts being hacked, so security should be on the mind of gamers who use the Xbox platform. If a gaming account is hacked then it can create issues with payments, account access, and often involves takes time to deal with Xbox support.

Here are a few ways to improve security when using Xbox Live to avoid having a problem.

1. Make the Password Strong

Passwords need to be strong in order to fully protect yourself. This can be difficult to do because if the password is too difficult to remember it defeats the purpose. There is also the danger of using the same passwords on many sites and online systems which makes all of them vulnerable when one of them gets hacked.

Be sure to use unique access information that you don’t use anywhere else for the Xbox Live account. There are pass codes for the Xbox 360 system and passkeys for the Xbox One system. It is also a good idea to change the password from time to time. The secret question and answer can also be modified to provide improved security in case someone learns this information from another website.

Check out our article on how to create strong passwords for more information.

2. Keep Looking for Indications the Account Has Been Compromised

An example of a phishing attempt on Xbox Live.
An example of a phishing attempt on Xbox Live.

When signing into Xbox Live, do you occasionally see a message that your account was signed in previously from a different console? If this is the case, it is more than likely that someone else is using your gamertag to log in to your Xbox Live account on their console. This could, of course, be a friend when you last went over to their place for an online battle, but otherwise this needs to be looked into further.

Additionally, messages from people claiming to be Xbox representatives of some kind should always be a red flag. Do not provide them with any of your account details. Often times this phishing attempts will have typos and/or not “flow” properly — so that’s definitely something to look for. As a last resort, if you’re really not sure, the best thing to do is call up Xbox Live support and see if they have any records of such a message being sent.

3. Do Not Add a Credit Card or PayPal Account

Although it might be tempting to do so, if the Xbox Live account gets breached, then there could be other repercussions for financial billing which will make sorting out access and clean-up of your account post-hacking time-consuming and problematic.

It is possible to buy temporary payments cards to avoid using a debit card or PayPal account. A Visa Credit Gift Card is the perfect solution to avoid using your own payment methods to pay for extra gaming packs. They can be a little bit expensive to use for each transaction, but the security is well worth it.

Some people have a problem removing a valid payment method from their Xbox Live account. This is because they need to add an alternative payment method first, then remove the previous payment method from the account after that.

4. Be Careful With Software

Software is a major risk with security. Keyloggers are a particular nuisance because they can capture the username and password combination for any account as it is typed in. Even video clips distributed on the internet can contain bits of code that can compromise security.

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware 2.0

When wanting to keep a computer clean it is a good idea to stick with the tried and true names rather than go with a new company. There are many so called anti-virus or anti-malware software packages that provide false infection reports to sell the software to the user after the trial period or that simply infect the computer when installed.

Consider using Malwarebytes Anti-Malware for the malware scanning. Avast and AVG are excellent virus scanners. All of these packages come from reputable suppliers, have free versions, and can remove infections.

Make sure a firewall is present and keep software updated to avoid security vulnerabilities compromising a system.

Be Careful with Social Engineering

Social engineering can be many things. It can be writing down your original password and someone finding it in your desk drawer. If can be an email sent from someone offering elevated prestige levels on Call of Duty in exchange for their password.

Another form of social engineering can be a profile built up about someone based on their social media public profiles, gaming community profiles, and other information sources to figure out what password this type of person would likely use. This is also relevant for the type of information provided in the Xbox Live profile which can also be used to build up a picture about a user which can be used against them later. Adding information like contact details publicly can be used to contact Xbox Live Customer Services to gain control of your account, for instance. Therefore, proper care needs to be taken.

Be Careful with Online Gaming

When playing over Xbox Live with other players, it’s important not to give away any personal information about yourself unless you know the player in the real world.  When playing on servers, make sure to use secure servers (such as one from this Minecraft Server List) and to ensure that all of your payment details are secure.

When following these security measures, your Xbox system and account should be more secure than it was previously. Overall, vigilance is what is needed to ensure your Xbox Live account doesn’t get breached.

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