I’m sure you’re wondering how safe is your Xbox live account from hackers? It is a worthy concern and I felt the same myself so I researched the internet trying to find the answer to this question.
Microsoft takes security seriously & Xbox Live is safe from hackers. Microsoft started the Xbox Bounty Program which since Jan 2020 invites anyone to identify security vulnerabilities in the Xbox Live network with qualified submissions being eligible for bounty rewards of $500 to $20,000 USD.
Clearly Microsoft takes the threat of hacking very seriously as shown by the Xbox Bounty Program. Later, I will discuss the steps Microsoft have said to protect your account, and explain the events of Playstation and Microsoft being hacked in 2014.
How To Prevent Your Xbox Live From Being Hacked
How Microsoft Stops Hackers
This information is from the previous director of policy and enforcement of Xbox live Stephen Toulouse. This interview was in 2011 however all the advice remains the same.
Microsoft has several methods in how it deals with hacking. Firstly they look at the actual complaints Microsofts have with certain online behaviour, such as hacking in a game lobby and they take action by banning the player committing the offence.
Secondly, they actively police the service which involves Microsoft staff playing Xbox Live games themselves and dealing with modders/cheaters when they see them break the rules.
Lastly, Microsoft stresses education and educates people on how to keep your account safe and keep a safe experience online.
Following the following tips on how to keep safe on Xbox live and online in general.
Never Give Out Your Xbox Live Password
The steps to ensure you stay safe on Xbox Live are identical to staying safe online in general. Number 1 rule is NEVER give out your Microsoft password under any circumstances.
A common scam on Xbox Live is someone saying they have access to a special new beta for a popular game and need your password for you to access it, or they have x amount of Microsoft points and need your password. Do NOT fall for these! These are scams designed to hack into your account.
Check out this news report about an Xbox Live scam and how common it can be. Remember your Xbox Live account could have access to your credit card so giving away your Xbox password is basically handing your credit card information to thieves willingly!
Use The Second Answers As A Different Password
You know the secondary answers, like what is your mothers maiden name what was your first school? The issue with these questions is people are so open with what they include on the internet a hacker could very easily find the answers to these questions.
However, if you answer these questions wrong or with random answers? Hackers will have no idea how to break this verification, just make sure you make a note of the answers themselves in case you forget!
Be More Mindful Of The Information You Put Online
The Internet is becoming more and more important in peoples lives but this brings tremendous opportunities for hackers to steal your information. Don’t just be careful with giving out your Password but try to limit all the personal information you have online.
You only have to see this news report from 2011 on how an intern posted several pictures on twitter on her daily routine and a hacker was able to map out her daily routine exactly! This was 9 years ago and people have become even more addicted to the internet so be very careful your internet presence, and what you leave online for people to see
Use A Password Manager Like LastPass
Using a Password Manager to keep your passwords in your phone and computer greatly reduces the risk of someone hacking your Xbox live account.
These programs automatically generate a 16 digit password with multiple symbols that is nearly impossible to hack and easily allow you to save and use your passwords whenever you please. I’ve been using LastPass for a while and it keeps all my passwords and Xbox Live safe in its vault.
99/100 the reason people get hacked like in 2014 when Microsoft & Sony got hacked is because of easy to hack passwords. A Password manager stops this from happening, check out the video below on why you should use a password manager and I cannot recommend LastPass enough.
Use 2-Step Verification With Your Phone Number
Both Xbox Live & Microsoft have a two-step verification which is a feature that adds a second layer of security into your account making it very difficult if not impossible for a hacker to have access.
Even if a hacker gets access to your Microsft password if they don’t have your phone they won’t be able to receive the 6 digit authentication code to access your account.
Check out my video on how to enable 2-step verification down below, it’s very simple and will take minutes to set up to completely protect yourself from hackers, or do the following steps.
- Go to the Security basics page and sign in with your Microsoft account.
- Select More security options.
- Under Two-step verification, choose Set up two-step verification to turn it on, or choose to Turn off two-step verification to turn it off.
- Follow the instructions.
How To Know Your Xbox Live Account Is Hacked?
First thing you should notice when you sign in to your account via your Xbox/computer you will see ‘your account has been recovered somewhere else’ or your password has been changed. These are red flags and you should call/email Microsoft immediately if you didn’t change your password yourself.
Check out the official website from Microsoft on what you should do if your account has been hacked. Also, check your credit/debit card associated with your hacked account and see if any unauthorised charges have been made. If they have, call your bank, or cancel your card to prevent the hackers from using your card
Has Xbox Live ever been hacked?
Yes both Xbox and Playstation were hacked in Christmas Eve 2014 by a group called the Lizard Squad via a DDOS(denial of service) prevented around 160 million gamers from using either Playstation online or Xbox Live
Millions of people could not use their games consoles for a second day as disruption on the Xbox Live and Sony Playstation networks continued after an apparent cyber-attack.
A group calling itself Lizard Squad claimed responsibility for bringing down both networks on Christmas Eve, which could have affected nearly 160 million gamers with 46 million Xbox gamers being affected.
However, the hack was bad for Microsoft but way worse for Sony who has suffered numerous hacks to its online servers the worst one being in 2011 where millions of customers credit card information was leaked to hackers. The attack was so bad I remember Sony giving a welcome pack of around 5-6 free games.
Microsoft has NEVER suffered an attack like Sony 2011 and its servers are more resistant to DDOS attacks. However, the success of Lizard Squads 2014 hacks suggest anything is possible and Microsoft & Sony could get hacked in the near future,
Is it safe to put your credit card on Xbox Live?
I think compared to Playstation your credit card information is a lot more safer on your Xbox One. Microsoft is a massive software company so they have the resources unlike Sony and it’s in their best interest to protect your credit card information so you keep using their service.
The Xbox Bounty program mentioned earlier showcases how important Microsoft treats its security. The program involves the entire Xbox Live network support and services. Focussing on vulnerabilities for Denial Of Service(DoS) URL redirects and laws in Mixer, GamePass, xCloud, Xbox.com.
So your credit card information on your Xbox one will be just as safe as any other website online. If you’re very nervous about your credit card information is online, you could just remove your card whenever you make a purchase, or the better option is installing the 2 step verification for your Microsoft account.