Blizzard Authenticators: Are They Worth It?
13/11/2009 à 01:39
The Authenticator is an excellent tool that keeps unwanted hackers out of your account through a nearly infallible method. However, this device also has the potential to cause a
of inconvenience for the account holder, oftentimes more trouble than it would cause for a hacker. I can say from this personal experience because I’ve gone through it twice already. After the second incident, it really made me reconsider whether or not the Authenticator was worth the hassle.
The first time happened was when I went on a trip to Northern California. I did not plan on bringing my Authenticator, but somehow it landed up in my suitcase. It wasn’t a big deal, but I wasn’t planning on playing WoW at all during the trip so there was no point in bringing it. I kept good track of it during the trip like I always do when I’m not on vacation, but once I got back home I couldn’t find it anywhere. When I got to the point where I just gave up, it was already 8:01pm Pacific Time on a Friday evening. Essentially I was screwed and wasn’t able to have the Authenticator detached from my account until at least Monday, but I didn’t end up calling until about two weeks later because of my busy schedule.
When I finally called things didn’t go quite as easy. I never wrote the serial number and obviously I couldn’t find the device, so there was no way I could reach the final step which was to give the serial number to the rep who took my call. I ended up having to fax in paperwork to have the device detached from my account.
For a while I had been interested in purchasing an iPod touch, and with my Authenticator missing I figured it would be a good time to invest in one. I purchased the 8 GB version and immediately downloaded the Authenticator app. Of course, I also use my iPod for its other great features—Facebook, email, YouTube, internet access, and all the jazz!—but the Authenticator app was just more icing on the cake. What really sucked is that the following day, I found the Authenticator I thought I lost on my vacation—in my laptop bag, no less—but it didn’t matter that much. I just had to remind myself that I didn't purchase a $250 iPod simply because I lost a $7 device. :P
Now let’s fast forward to, like, a week ago from the time of this post. Just like the last incident, the luck of bad timing struck me again when I was unable to find my iPod on Saturday morning, so I was screwed…again! Fortunately things turned out better than last time because I found it the next day.
Having said all that, I don’t want anyone who is considered getting the Authenticator or a mobile authenticator app to be disappointed. It gives you a peace of mind that your account is nearly 100% secure from hackers, and this is the same method many banks use, too. The only downside, besides having to call in to detach it should you ever lose it, is when I click my iPhone app to get a code and I have to wait for a few seconds because it’s about to refresh—but this really isn’t a problem if you have the keychain device. Also, on the Mobile Authenticator app the code is eight digits long, compared to six digits on the keychain one, so you have to improve your memorization skills a little bit. :P
Based on your experiences or based on mine,
what do you think of the Authenticator? Is it more trouble than it’s worth?
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