Friday, June 17, 2011

"Smart Authenticator", smart move or the key to pissing lots of people off?

So, Blizzard has decided to take it security one step farther and start to keep track of where you log in to your account.  By doing this, they have set it up to where if you log in from a computer you usually log in from, it will no longer ask you for an authenticator code. I've been checking the forums and wowinsider.com post about this and I must say, it seems that a large chunk of the forums population is completely against this.

This is what I see on the forums.  Some people are happy with this because it was a hassle and took too much time to log in when you had to enter an authenticator code. If you got DC'd in the middle of a fight, it would seem like "forever" to log back in.  They feel that they are still secure and that this is a welcome change.

On the flip side, I see people complaining that they don't completely feel safe anymore.  They claim the Blizzards systems have had problems before and if a "glitch" happens when someone is trying to hack their account, and it does not ask for a code, Blizzard will simply say "Sorry, sucks to be you.".  However, those that are not happy at all with this change all offer a simple fix to make everyone happy...an "opt out" option. Also, most comment about how they don't mind the extra 5 seconds it takes to enter in a code since it is only 5 seconds and they feel more secure.

Here is what I think about this entire situation.  I feel that Blizzard, having been dealing with the public for a good number of years now, seemed to have been totally blind to what people would think.  It makes me think if they even gave any thought beyond the "This would be a great improvement to security, lets do it" idea.  Anyone living on this planet we call Earth knows one simple fact about people in general.  People feel far more secure if they have or feel they have control over a situation. By having people enter in an authenticator code at login, they feel that they are secure, that unless someone came in to their home and stole it, they don't have to worry about account security.  By taking this away from people you take away that feeling of security, even if they are just as or even more secure then before.  I'm surprised that Blizzard did not put thought in to this aspect.  They made authenticators optional, I feel that they should have added an "opt-out" option to this feature too.  I also think Blizzard completely and totally dropped the ball here in another way.  We log in one day, everything is fine.  We log in the next day, tons of people are not asked for their code.  There was not even a "Breaking News" post on the log in screen for a god amount of time. This completely freaked out some people that were logging on.  There was no warning or mention that was made clear to anyone that I'm aware of.  If Blizzard had posted up info about this coming maybe a couple of days in advance, people would still not be happy, but it would not have caused people to freak out either when they didn't know what was going on for the longest time.

Come on Blizzard, you are business and deal with lots people everyday.  How did you not see this coming, and if you did, you did a terrible job preparing for it.  Humanity has this thing about feeling secure.  All you would have had to do to keep EVERYONE happy....was to create an "opt-out" option.  I hope we see it in the near future since I for one and not happy with this either.  I don't mind the 5 seconds, even if I get DC'd in the middle of a raid, to entire the code in.  I'm not happy with is though because you changed your security features while giving me the same options.  Like it or ditch your authenticator, those are my choices and I'm not happy with it. If you are going to make changes, you need to give people options.

This is what I have found and how I feel.  Feel free to post here about how you feel or comment on this post. I will reply to any and all comments here quickly

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