As the gaming’s most popular platform, Steam is home to a plethora of scammers. Fortunately, there are ways you can protect yourself.
Fraudulent Steam access and accounts lost to hackers continue to be a persistent threat to the gaming community. To that end, we’ve updated this guide to better help gamers understand how to protect and recover their accounts.
Maybe you weren’t paying attention and accidentally clicked a malicious trade link. Maybe you logged onto a third-party website with your Steam credentials. Regardless of the method, your Steam account is now compromised and you’re not sure what to do. Thankfully, Steam Support has some steps you can follow to reclaim your account.
According to Steam, 77,000 accounts are hijacked every month. At first, there wasn’t a lot of malicious activity, but once the Steam economy began to grow, so did the hackers. While hackers generally target the new and naive, even those who are Steam veterans have been taken for a ride. Hackers have a myriad of ways to get into accounts, and users must remain vigilant lest they become another victim. As the “I got hacked” stories began to accelerate, Steam prepared their own countermeasures against the threat.
How to Fix A Hacked Steam Account
First, users should use their anti-virus programs to scan their computers. It’s important to ensure no viruses, key loggers, spyware, or other malicious code are residing. Once users are certain their computer is virus-free, they should reset their passwords.
Second, users should change their email passwords. While this might seem unrelated at first, a compromised e-mail may very well be how your account was hacked in the first place. By changing their email password, users ensure a hijacker can’t take their Steam account again. It also means Steam Support will be able to assist users without interference.
Once those above steps have been completed, users can recover their Steam account by changing their password via Steam’s help page. Don’t panic if you can’t self-recover the account, though. Users can still appeal to Steam Support to verify and recover accounts for them. When contacting Steam Support, it’s important to have the following information: Proof of Ownership (which could be credit cards, bank transfers, retail activation keys or Steam wallet codes previously used with the account), any possible Steam Account login names and any possible email addresses linked to the account.
How to Prevent Your Steam Account from Getting Hacked
To avoid your account being compromised, Steam recommends that users never share their password with anyone. Some hijackers will impersonate Steam Support representatives and ask for information, but don’t fall for it; the real Steam Support (who will always have a badge on their account identifying them as a Valve Employee) will never ask for your password. Also, make sure you only use official Steam websites. Sometimes, hackers will message users about a website offering free items and steal their login information from there. Official Steam websites will have an Extended Validation SSL certificate which will look like a green bar near the address.
Steam Support has been known to be notoriously slow, but there are stories where they’ve reacted relatively quickly in response to hijackings. Reddit user bleucube recounts a time when her son accidentally got his account hijacked through a scam website. The hacker then proceeded to turn off the mobile guard and change the account’s password, phone number and email. Despite the bleak outlook, bleucube submitted a ticket to Steam Support and provided evidence they were the account’s real owner. Within eight hours, Steam Support responded and managed to recover the hijacked account.
Sadly, as the largest gaming platform in the world, Steam is a prime target for scammers. If you wish to know more about how to protect yourself from hijackers, you can learn more about the various types of scams via the Scamtypes wiki on Steam’s subreddit. So long as you’re careful and safeguard your information, though, your Steam account should be safe.
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