Okay, so everyone is paranoid lately, talking about hackers "stealing" favorites and clothes.
So, let's make this clear:
There is ABSOLUTELY NO WAY a person can "steal" anything from you on Ameba Pico.
The only way to do that would be accessing Ameba Pico's server and stealing the information from the database, and then decrypting it and then ... well ... that's what a real hacker would do and real hackers don't waste their time with games like Ameba Pico.
Besides, a game like Ameba Pico is already protected against these kind of attacks.
The problem with the loss of favorites and the items is a bug. What's a bug? I'll quote Wikipedia:
"... the common term used to describe an error, flaw, mistake, failure, or fault in a computer program or system that produces an incorrect or unexpected result, or causes it to behave in unintended ways."So, it's an error in the game, that hopefully they're working on fixing.
Did you lose any items? Just report the problem and I'm sure that you'll get them back.
Some people have been locking their rooms trying to prevent attacks from the imaginary hackers. Let's be realistic, a real hacker would find a way to get in your room anyway. And it doesn't even make sense that the hacker needs to be in your room to steal your stuff in the first place.
The Truth About Hacking
So, can someone steal your account? Of course they can! But in Ameba Pico, "hacked" is just a fancy word for "I'm an idiot; I gave my account information away."
What are the most common ways to steal your account?
- Confidence tricks. The trickster will deceive you into willingly giving out your account information. To get into your account they may tell you that they'll put AmbebaGold into your account, for example, or by giving you some other too-good-to-be-true story.
- Phishing scams. You will get a fake message, an email, or an URL for a fake website that will require you to to respond by providing your Pico account information. The message might say that your account will be banned, or that you'll get free AmebaGold and a magic panda. Most phishing websites make you fill a form with your account information, and then your account information will be sent to the perpetrator's email address and they will have all the information needed to log in as you and take over your account.
- Keylogger "spyware" software. It's a stealthy method of capturing and recording computer users' keystrokes, including sensitive passwords (and sometimes it even takes snapshots of your screen) and emails that information to the spyware owner. A keylogger must be installed by anyone who has an access to your computer or it can be attached to a virus from a file you download.
So, how can you prevent people "stealing" your account? Well, change your password every now and then.
If someone asks you for your password, don't be that stupid.
Did Chloe send you an email asking for your account information to give you a free pony? Ameba Pico will NEVER ask for your account information.
As for keyloggers. Just get a good anti-virus software for protection, turn your firewall on, and you'll be safe!
Sick of the Virus Talk
I have also heard some people saying that they got a virus playing Ameba Pico. Viruses are most often passed through files that a person downloads, which are corrupted. Flash games, like Ameba Pico do not download anything to your computer. Unless you're downloading files, and running/opening them on your computer you are not going to get a virus from playing the game.
You can, however, get a virus by clicking into someone's URL and downloading something (and you can also end up seeing some ... pretty nasty stuff). But again, if you have an antivirus software program, you're safe (just not from the nasty stuff people put in their URLs so if you don't recognize and URL don't open it).
The Final Word
So again, there are no hackers. You can't prevent the loss of favorites or items; let's just hope that Ameba Pico fixes that soon. If you don't want to lose your account, just follow my advice: keep your login information safe and private.
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Many thanks to Benry for bringing some clarity to this situation, and to "hyoori" for alerting us to Benry's Facebook thread in which he discusses the truths and untruths about hacking in Pico.
On January 21, 2011, the Ameba Pico Management posted a statement on scams on the official Pico blog. The post advises you to:
- Never teach others your e-mail login address or your password.
- Even to those Picos you know well.
- Frequently change your passwords, and make them secure.
- Never buy AmebaGold from people or places other than Ameba Pico’s official site.
- If someone says he/she will give you Ameba Gold, always say ‘no’ and report us the person’s Pico name.