am not quite certain what I was thinking — was I commenting on the iPhone 3G's features on Gizmodo or taunting Brian Crecente on Kotaku's comment threads? Either way, I created a Gawker account. Either way, I've been affected by yet another database compromise. I've gotten used to being contacted by my credit card company about twice a year telling me to chop up my card, but something about this seems different. As I look through my email inbox at all the various service providers and vendors requesting that I change my username and/or password, I somehow feel downright violated.
What really drove the point home was the string of emails from Blizzard I had sitting in my inbox on Tuesday morning: “We've received a request to reset the password for this Battle.net account,” the first proclaimed. Odd, seeing as how I hadn't initiated said request, unless, of course, I had a major undiagnosed sleepwalking problem. No, my information was out there, and some kind person with access to an address list was hammering away at my accounts. Lucky for me, I've always been a paranoid chap - my passwords are notoriously unexpected and I've been using an authentication device for over a year. Still, I was unnerved to say the least. And what of those less fortunate?
I've since unlinked all important services and accounts from the offending email address, but I'm left wondering just how many folks were burned by this latest database debacle. For gamers, so much of what we do is linked to an online presence these days — stories of WoW account hacks or Xbox Live compromises are downright commonplace. It used to be that in order to be robbed, one had to do something silly like leave a wallet on the counter at CVS or keep the keys in a running automobile. These days, all one needs to do is give their email address to one of the most successful blog networks on the internet. Can one really blame Gawker for this? No more so than one can blame our reliance on fragile web security practices. As you set up your PSN account this Christmas on your new PlayStation 3, I beg of you: choose a creative password, and think twice about giving your email address to any old site out there. Happy (and safe) gaming to you all.