We've just revamped the Authenticator page in the Account Management section of the site to make it more user friendly and easier to use. Having done that (a couple of icons are still on order, but they should be here soon), I thought it would be a great time to remind everybody about the authenticators, and why you might want to use them.
What is an Authenticator?
Some of you may know it as two-factor authentication, but an authenticator is an application that will run on your phone, and generate a 6 or 8 digit code every 30 seconds. With an authenticator attached to your account, the game and website will ask you for this code in addition to your username and password.
The use of an authenticator is completely optional, but significantly increases the security of your account.
Why should you use one?
The 6 or 8 digit codes that are generated by the device can only be used once, and last about 90 seconds before expiring. They change every 30 seconds, and only the server and your authenticator app knows what the codes should be. This makes it significantly harder for peopel to steal your account, as even with your username and password they won't be able to log in without a recent, unused, 6 or 8 digit code from your app.
How/Where can I get one?
Authenticator apps are available for Android phones, old-style J2ME phones (remember the days before touchscreens?), and also on iOS, Windows Phone, and Blackberry. There are links to where you can find these apps on the Authenticator page.
Who else is using this type of system?
Two-factor authentication is quite popular for online gaming since nefarious people have a financial incentive to steal your account. Blizzard have had this system for many years (as have we), Rift also use such a system, and big name sites such as Dropbox and Google also offer this protection to their users.
So what are you waiting for?