Making Origin safe and secure

Use these Origin settings to protect your EA account from hijacking, data theft, and spam.

Use these Origin settings to protect your EA account from hijacking, data theft, and spam

Millions of gamers use the Origin platform to get the latest releases from Electronic Arts and its partners, communicate with other users, and stream directly to Twitch. If you are one of them, competing for glory in Battlefield, FIFA, Need for Speed, or other games from these developers, take a few moments to sort out the security and privacy settings. Doing so will make your gameplay more user-friendly and secure, so you can focus on winning. Here, we spotlight some neat options on EA’s platform and how to use them.

Important: You’ll find most of the security and privacy settings we cover here in your account on the EA website, not in the Origin client. To get there, hover over your user pic in the lower left corner of the main menu in the client or on the platform website and select EA Account and Billing from the pop-up menu to open your profile in the EA Customer Portal in a new browser tab.

How to protect your Origin account from hijacking

First, let’s take a look at how to protect your Origin account from getting hacked. All gaming accounts are prey to hackers, no matter how actively you play. So, as usual, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

How to change your Origin password

If your profile password is something like batman1998, it won’t be difficult for hackers to brute-force it. A good password is long and unpredictable. It should also be unique and not used anywhere else.

To change your Origin password:

  • In your account, click Security in the left-hand menu;
  • Click Edit under Account Security;
  • Click Send Security Code;
  • In the window that opens, enter the code from the e-mail, and click Submit;
  • Enter your old password and the new strong one (twice);
  • Click Save.

How to change the security question on Origin

A security question can be a good safety net in case you forget your password, but keep a few things in mind before relying on yours. First, if you manage to forget both your password and the answer to the question, you risk losing access to your account. Second, if the answer is easy to find — for example, if the question is, “What is your pet’s name?” and said pet features heavily on your Instagram feed — don’t be surprised if someone gets in and resets your password. Choose a question and answer (the questions are usually standard) that you will remember but can’t be googled.

To change your security question or answer on Origin:

  • Click Security in the left-hand menu;
  • Click Edit under Account Security;
  • Click Send Security Code;
  • In the window that opens, enter the code from the e-mail and click Submit;
  • Select the Security Question tab;
  • Select a question from the drop-down list, and enter your answer.

Now, save that answer in a safe place — for example, in an encrypted note in Kaspersky Password Manager. Our application will also help you generate and securely store strong, reliable passwords.

How to set up two-factor authentication on Origin

Use two-factor authentication as an additional safeguard. That way, anyone trying to sign in from another computer — whether it’s you or a cybercriminal — will have to enter a one-time code that is sent to your e-mail or generated in an authentication app such as Google Authenticator.

Here’s how to enable the option:

  • Under Login Verification on the Security tab, click Turn On;
  • Enter the one-time code sent to your e-mail; click Submit;
  • Select the method for receiving one-time codes — Email or App Authenticator — and click Send Code;
  • Enter the code you receive and click Turn On Login Verification;
  • Make a note of or copy the Backup Codes, which will help you sign in to your account even without access to your e-mail or authentication app.

You won’t need a one-time password when logging in from a trusted device — that is, one that you have logged in from before. So, just in case, check the list of such devices (located directly under the Login Verification settings), and remove any that you do not use.

Why add a secondary mailbox on Origin?

The last bastion of protection for your Origin account is a secondary e-mail address. If you lose access to your main mailbox, you can get a temporary password using your backup e-mail.

To specify an additional e-mail address:

  • Click Security in the left-hand menu;
  • Click Add Secondary Email at the bottom of the screen;
  • Enter the one-time code sent to the e-mail address you specified during registration and click Submit;
  • Enter your additional e-mail address and click Continue;
  • Enter the one-time code you receive in your secondary mailbox and click Verify.

Why update the Origin client?

Your account is now securely protected, but your defenses will crumble if someone breaks in to your computer through a bug in the Origin client or a game. Therefore, you need to update them regularly (not a bad idea anyway; new versions may contain extra features). Better still, configure the software to update itself.

For Origin, you can adjust the setting in the client:

  • Hover over your nickname in the lower left corner;
  • In the pop-up menu, select Application Settings;
  • Make sure that the Automatic game updates and Automatically update Origin options are selected in the Client update section.

Note that other programs — and the operating system — on your device should also be updated whenever possible as soon as updates become available.

How to hide personal data on Origin

Now that your account is protected, let’s turn to your data. For example, not everyone needs to see your real name or list of achievements. You may not want outsiders to view anything at all in your profile or game library. To customize the visibility of your profile:

  • Go to the EA Customer Portal;
  • Click Privacy Settings in the left-hand menu;
  • Under Profile Privacy, select who can view your profile: Everyone (Origin users), Friends, Friends of Friends, or No One. Save the settings.

If you let other users view your profile but don’t want them to see your achievements or real name, under Profile Privacy again, uncheck the corresponding boxes. Note that if you let the service show your real name, it will be visible wherever your EA ID is displayed.

Origin lets anyone find you by your EA ID. Unfortunately, you cannot change that. However, you can prevent people from searching by other data, such as your e-mail address or PlayStation Network and Xbox Live IDs, to find you. To do so, on the settings screen, scroll to Allow users to search for me by and uncheck:

  • Email Address,
  • Xbox Live gamertag,
  • PSN Online ID.

To prevent people who know your real name from finding you, simply remove it from your profile.

How to block someone on Origin

If a particular user gets on your nerves, you can block them individually without having to change your settings. Blocked users will not be able to write to you or view your account details. You have two paths from which to block haters, spammers, and other toxic individuals.

In the Origin client:

  • Open the profile of the user you want to block;
  • Click the arrow to the right of the photo;
  • Select Block User in the drop-down menu;
  • Click Block user;
  • Save the settings.

On the website:

  • Go to Privacy Settings;
  • Enter the name of a user in the Block a User field;
  • Click Block.

If you block someone by mistake, you can always remove them from the list here by clicking Remove.

How to get rid of unwanted notifications on Origin

Pesky on-screen notifications can spoil gameplay or interfere with other activities. To resolve this issue, you can customize alerts in the Origin client:

  • Click your nickname in the lower left corner of the screen;
  • Select Application Settings from the pop-up menu;
  • Click the Notifications tab. If you don’t see it, click Advanced and select Notifications from the drop-down menu;
  • Select the events you want to be told about and turn off the ones you don’t.

How to manage data collected by Origin

Don’t be surprised that Origin collects all kinds of data about you, your activities, and your preferences. Platform developers can use the information to personalize ads in the client and in games. If you don’t like targeted advertising, block it:

Go to the EA Customer Portal;
Click Privacy Settings in the left-hand menu;
Under Preferred Data Usage, uncheck EA In-Game Targeted Advertising and Targeted Advertising Provided by Third Parties.

You will still see ads, but random ones (which tend to be easier to ignore).

Still concerned about EA collecting information about you? You can ask the developers for an archive of it to learn exactly what they have on you. And if you live in Europe and are protected by the GDPR, you can request the deletion of specific data. To get the archive:

  • In the EA Customer Portal, select Your EA Data in the left-hand menu;
  • Click Request a Download.

After approximately one hour, a link will appear on the same page. You can click it to download a file with your data. The link expires after 24 hours.

Protect what matters

Once you’ve configured Origin just the way you like it, use our settings guides for Twitch, Steam, and to slam more doors on hackers, scammers and haters.