I can't express the importance of a secure account. With MMO games there is a lot more at stake than just a character file. If you lose your account you lose years of work and not only that, but your friends can also be affected, especially if you're involved in a guild.
In WoW, we saw hackers time and time again logging into people's accounts and clearing out everything they could get access to. In one circumstance the hacker even decided that he would start removing people from the guild that the account was on, as it happened to be an officer's account.
It's obvious that SWTOR is going to be a hot target for hackers these holidays. I have a tough enough job keeping their horrible spam from the comments section of this site! I highly recommend that if you have not purchased the Collector's Edition of the game, which comes bundled with a security key, to download the free app from iTunes for your iPhone if you have one (full guide below). Hopefully they release an app for other platforms like Android soon as well.
The other option is to purchase the security key key chain from BioWare. I can't remember the exact price, and the site is down for pre-launch maintenance so I can't check, but I think it was around $2-4. That's a small price to pay to know that your avatar is not vulnerable to hackers.
There seems to be some confusion about how the app works. You can use the app if you have an account (even if you don't have your hard copy yet). Here's how to use it:
Log into your SWTOR account on your PC.
Go to Security Key.
Click Mobile Version.
This will provide you with a 7 digit key and a 20 digit key.
Then open the app and enter the 7 digit key in the 'Serial number' section.
It will then ask for the 20 digit key. Enter it.
The app will then provide you with a code (sample above).
Go back to your SWTOR account on your PC and type in that code.
If you start using this app then make sure that you keep a copy of the Serial number that is generated, just in case you ever loose your phone, or have to reset it. Every time you go to log into the game from then on you'll have to fire up the app on your phone and enter the serial number, get the security key and then enter it on your SWTOR login on your PC.
Keep your STAR WARS: The Old Republic account protected with the official STAR WARS: The Old Republic Mobile Security Key app for your iPhone and iPod Touch! The STAR WARS: The Old Republic Mobile Security Key app is an optional program that will allow you to apply an additional layer of protection to your STAR WARS: The Old Republic account by generating a unique, one-time passcode that you can use in addition to your regular password. By using the STAR WARS: The Old Republic Mobile Security Key app, you can rest assured that your account is secured from hackers, Trojans and other unauthorized users.
How To Use: How To Use: Once you have installed the app on your iOS device you’ll need to visit www.starwarstheoldrepublic.com to associate the Mobile Security Key with your account. Log in to the STAR WARS: The Old Republic web site and go to the My Account page (link on the upper right of the page). From the menu on the right side of the page choose Security Key and then follow the instructions to set up your Mobile Security Key.
Airtime or Wi-Fi connection required for use.
For more information on how to register the STAR WARS: The Old Republic Mobile Security Key app to your starwarstheoldrepublic.com account, please visit www.swtor.com/support.