You prolly know the drill. People get hacked, they lose their FFXI accounts, you still hear of this all the fraggin' time. It's sad, but a preventable problem! Since the old guide is out of date and the only cure for this is EDUCATION, it's time to update it! Besides, prevention is a lot easier than trying to fix a hacked account EVERY TIME. Never forget this.
Anyway, first thing you should check on is a DUH! Do you use your FFXI/Square Enix passwords anywhere else? If you do that's BAD! Change them to something you will remember, and that has letters and numbers in it to make it hard to guess by some casual idiot. Check both POL and your Sq.Enix account password and fix them if needed, tho you proly do (and this is okay) have the program save the POL pass for you.
Also about passwords in general, the most secure involve symbols, letters(both lowercase and capital) and numbers(Unfortuantely they won't let you use symbols for FFXI/Sq. Enix accounts). Don't use leetspeek (hackers are onto that) any interest you mention online (if it's a full word from that), or something like D1c+10nary. Passwords should be as long as you can get away with. Also make sure your strongest passwords are on your email; hackers luuuv to get into that. Can't remember all those passwords? Keepass should be able to help. Oh and I've heard of someone doing this; take a phrase you would remember, like "Cait Sith is trying to prevent a disaster", take the first two letters of each word, and mutilate it with letters and numbers. Like, Ca5S1ItR@Tp#Rd! (not a pass I use!) This would keep it easy to remember.
First off, are you using IE? STOP! IE is so full of holes, it might as well be swiss cheese. Do not pass go, do not collect $200, go install Firefox or Google Chrome IMMEDIATELY! After that it's time to put your armor on to prevent you from getting crap on your computer in the first place. I'll go over the two browsers one at a time so you know how to secure them:
Firefox: First you need to install uBlock Origin(Adblocker Plus has gotten pretty bad lately) and Noscript. Make sure you go though the options on Noscript and turn off any audio alerts and any pop ups. uBlock Origin, however is install and go. However where the filters ARE has changed, and names have even changed since way back when, so don't install them from there! Go here to install EasyList and EasyPrivacy, and go here to learn how to use your adblocker to block Google and Yahoo ads. (Google ads were implicated in one virus/hacking attack, so tell them to go away! Oh and this works as well in Ublock Origin.)
Chrome: First, install Ublock Origin for Chrome and in order of prefrence b/c of ease of use: ScriptSafe, ScriptBlock, or Block them yourself.. I perfer ScriptBlock for ease of use. Anyway, you really don't have to do anything to config these, they're basically plug and go. Again, go install EasyList and EasyPrivacy from here, here to learn how to use your adblocker to block Google and Yahoo ads. (Google ads were implicated in one virus/hacking attack, so tell them to go away! Oh and yes, this works in Ublock Origin, not just Adblocker Plus.)
Ok. Now that that's over with..I ask this. Do you have an antivirus? You DON'T? Then you'd better get one! Here's a list of the best free ones:
Avira Antivirus Personal
MS Security Essentials(requires you pass a genuine Windows test; also this is top rated free one)
If you hear someone say install AVG's, run. Far. Away. That one has gone to the bottom of the heap and misses too much. If you got money to spend, look for either ESET Online Security, Trend Micro, BitDefender or Kapersky; those are the best paid programs available.
Some other spyware removal/scan software you want also are: MalwareBytes, Hijack This (good if you DO catch something or have a computer guru to check the scan or you are a nerd), and Spybot Search And Destroy (good to immunize your computer but best on beefier computers).
For the really paranoid, you may want to get a firewall program after that. To be honest, Windows Firewall + router firewall does well enough for most, but if you're super paranoid, Comodo Firewall Free and Online Armor give decent protection with very little nagging.
There are also 3 programs (not including Flash, that's impossible to get rid of) that are known for being vectors for viruses and spyware sometimes. These are Adobe Acrobat, Apple Quicktime, and RealPlayer. There is no shame in not getting rid of the first two if you actualy NEED them; Apple tends to want you to install their stuff when you get any Ipod, Ipod Touch, Iphone or Ipad (so that's understandable if you got Quicktime then) and I've heard of people actually needing Acrobat(and subsitutes won't do) for school n' things. If you can get away with getting rid of them though, replace RealPlayer with Real Alternative, Quicktime with Quicktime Alternative, and Acrobat with Foxit Reader(Make sure you do a custom install with Foxit, otherwise you'll find it installs some extras that are DO NOT WANT.)
Speaking of software, make sure you ALWAYS keep everything up to date. From your antivirus and Flash, to Windows itself. Seriously, new stuff often closes security holes. So grit your teeth and UPDATE IT! Also, I know some people like to find "free" software that may be pirated, but I will tell you this; always make sure you know where your software has been. If you are stubborn (like some friends I know) and won't take that advice, make sure you know how to protect yourself b/c pirating stuff is risky. If you wanna be lazy about updating your stuff, Ninite is something you can use to set up an installer that you can run again to update. Just avoid putting anything in that that installs unwanted toolbars and junk; Ninite is a little stupid and will install them without you asking, so keep things like VLC and Foxit Reader off your Ninite installer.
Finally, BUY A SECURITY TOKEN and don't take it off the account ever. No matter how annoying it gets. Think of that as a big, heavy, ugly lock that is on top of 3-5 other locks. It is the last resort and will make triple dog sure no one lays a finger on your FFXI account but you. Just so you don't lose it, get a nice keychain (I'm partial to a stuffed animal one b/c it's really hard to lose) To get one if you live in NA, click here to buy one. If you live in the EU, click here to buy one.
Make sure you use antivirus and your spyware scanner and check your computer once a week or so. You don't need to do more than that. This will keep your computer nice and clean.
And lastly, if you use a laptop and carry it around with you, you may want to look into TrueCrypt. This used correctly and booted with your op system, will make sure NO ONE ever gets your data if they steal your laptop.
To finish this; I'll say this. It isn't hard to keep your pc clean and safe and protect your FFXI account. I've always done it since I heard of the first hackings (tho I wasn't on PC then). What is good to keep your Mithra or Taru or Elvaan or Hume or Galka safe is good to keep your personal information safe as well (well..all but the token...) so pass this on!
Go back to the FFXI FAQ page..