Advice on how to avoid account thieves, strengthening your password encryption and more
In previous articles in our series we have primarily talked about things that we do to help keep PlayStation Network safe. In this article I’d like to discuss a few tips to help keep yourself safe online.
1. Use a unique password every time
The first thing you can do is keep your account secure by using a unique password for each online service that you use. The simple reason is that if you use the same email and password combination across multiple services and just one of them is compromised then it’ll result in all of them becoming compromised!
It’s also a good idea to regularly change your password, just to be on the safe side.
2. Use a strong, complex password
Speaking of passwords, it’s always best to make sure your password is made up of uppercase and lowercase characters, numbers and symbols.
Likewise, you should avoid using obvious passwords, such as the word “password”, your own name, or date of birth; instead, use something that would be very difficult for anyone to guess, even if they know you very well.
It’s not uncommon for determined account thieves to trawl through your social media for clues about you in an attempt to guess your password. For instance, I have a cat named Apollo that I share pictures of on social media. Using his name as a password would not be wise – even if I wrote it as “Ap0110” or “Apo11o” – because that’s likely one of the first things that someone that had examined my social media accounts would think I’d use as a password.
3. Report inappropriate content
While we do everything we can to make sure PSN continues to be a safe place, we can’t deal with a problem until we’re made aware of it. That’s why we ask that you report any inappropriate content you come across on PSN, including messages from other players that contain attempts to access your account.
4. Do not click on suspicious links
You should always be wary of suspicious links that have been shared with you, especially if they’ve been sent by someone you don’t know. These links can potentially lead to phishing sites that will attempt to steal your login details with promises of PSN credit, cheats, mods or free games.
Some of these sites will attempt to fool you in to thinking that they are official PlayStation websites by copying our layout or using our official branding, but if you look at the URL then it should be pretty clear that they’re not an official site official site because it isn’t actually PlayStation.com.
Our moderation team is actively blocking phishing sites from being shared in PSN messages as well as removing these scam websites entirely.
If you receive a suspicious URL and it has not been hidden you can report it to our moderators who will then investigate and, if they find it to be unsuitable for PSN, prevent it from being shared again – so you’re doing other players a solid by letting us know!
5. Keep your login details secret
Sharing your account details is against the Community Code of Conduct, because it’s an incredibly dangerous thing to do. If you share your details with someone, you have no control over what they do on your account and who they might share that information with.
There is no reason why another person would ever need access to your account.
Similarly, PlayStation or its staff will never ask you for your login details. Scammers are known to offer you free games, cheats or exploits or free PSN credit in exchange for your login details, but it is universally a lie.
Again, if someone sends you a PSN message asking for your login details please report the message and the moderation team will handle the rest.
6. Enable two-step verification
Two-step verification adds an extra layer of security by sending a verification code to your mobile phone via text message any time you sign in to your account. In order to access the account you’ll need to enter your password and the verification code, so unauthorised access will be prevented. For more information on two-step verification you can read our FAQ here.
Read more in our “Helping you stay safe on PlayStation Network” series:
- How PS4’s reporting system has evolved since 2016
- 3 things you need to know about safety and moderation
- How to share your PlayStation games safely
- PlayStation Network’s Code of Conduct explained
- How to spot a scam
- Using PS4’s Live from PlayStation streaming service