From oct 2010 my educational posts are published only on Pip

1 maj 2011

There are ways to avoid stolen accounts

Girls' communitys have a huge problem with stolen accounts. It appeared when virtual currency became the most attractive thing in the world. If it was theft only it would be sad but fixable, but the feeling of the victim is more as if your house was burnt down to the ground. All that you have built, collected, saved and created is gone for ever. And your parents - those who always know what to do - stand irresolute.

What the thieves do is that they some way sign in to someone elses account. They for example run campaigns where they promise the owner gold if they send their password to a certain address. 10 year old girls believe this is true as they urge for more virtual currency. In someone elses account they sell all the stuff they have either cheaply to their own account or expensively to someone else. Either they can sell the cheap stuff expensively themselves, or they use the stolen account to buy stuff they want to get rid of at the highest value possible. The higher value that it is possible to sell your stuff at, the bigger the possibilities of scams are. This is a complex system of cleaning money, nurtured by the desire for virtual currency.

Some girls forget their accounts signed in open for someone else who use the same computer to enter, some use passwords easy to find in an attempt or two. But then there are thousands of accounts that don't correspont to any of these reasons, that still get highjacked. Kids who only sign in at their home computer, with extremely difficult passwords, kids too young to communicate with anyone else online. The young thieves probably use programs to help them cheat - to find the password.

The problem is vast and yet there are no efficient arrangments made to solve it. The owner don't get the money back and even more sure, she will not get her virtual stuff back ever. If the kids had done anything wrong you could tell them that this is the Internet and you need to learn how to use it, but when it's not their fault it's pure arrogancy towards young kids. This week it happened to my friend's girl and to my own two girls and no matter how much I adore the activity they have on Stardoll, I will recommend them to quit the game. There are other ways to build the game where the urge for currency is not as desperate and there are ways to minimize the possible effect of a scam. To sell stuff anonymously would change it all. To set max value to sell each item for is another. To make an experience of always having lots of money is yet another, but Stadoll has made these decitions to the opposite.

Be the good guys and give them the frickin' money
Girls amaze with the right incitaments

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