Accounts with large numbers of games and in-game purchases are common and interesting targets for criminals. Steam, as the largest platform for PC titles, is finally becoming one of the most sought-after, not only for its character, but also the producer of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, which already has a large market in itself. Weapon skins and other items paid for with real money.
On the other hand, phishing attacks and social engineering scams are often the main weapons of fraudsters. Whether it’s through YouTube videos, emails, in-app direct messages or social media posts, Steam credentials are golden as accounts can be resold and items under the control of fraudsters can be transferred to profiles, as well as for businesses.
The victim is left with few alternatives or to contact the official support, which receives more than 20,000 requests per day, but still tries to act in case of stolen profiles by analyzing the activity. As ESET information security expert Daniel Barbosa explains, keeping calm is the first step. Then it’s time to take a few steps.
How to recover a stolen Steam account
If you receive login messages or suspicious behavior but still have access to your account, the first step is to change your passwords. This can be done in the Steam app for PC or from anywhere, through the official app for smartphones or the platform’s website. This process will also close all active sessions, which will also stop criminals from accessing it.
The tip applies even in cases where the thieves have already changed the user’s password, but he can still access the email. In this case, all you have to do is perform a recovery process and, as Barrosa points out, ensure that the new credentials are neither similar to the old ones nor easily discovered, which will add more security to the account.
However, one of the thieves’ first approaches to gaining access is to change the user’s information so that they cannot recover the profile. In this case, you need to go to the official support of Steam and report the theft of the account, providing proof of ownership, such as previously used payment details, existing games and other supporting data.
Meanwhile, it is also important to pay attention to the financial statements. Because a Steam account can have credit cards and other similar data stored on it, it can also be used by criminals in theft situations – even if not removed for use outside the platform. If you find any unknown activity, block it and report it to your financial institution.
In addition, if your Steam password is also used on other platforms, such as email, social networks or banks, it is important to change passwords there as well. The idea is that with your credentials, criminals can also make successive attempts at more profiles, looking for other personal or financial information.
How to protect your Steam account
Preventive measures can make it more difficult to steal profiles on the gaming platform. As with Steam, as with any other service, it’s important to use strong passwords that can’t be guessed or have anything to do with public data like dates, pet names, etc. They must also be unique, not duplicated in other services.
The system also features Steam Guard, its two-step authentication system that adds an extra layer of security. The feature works from a smartphone app and generates a second, random password that is required for each login. Thus, even if a criminal has access to your information, he will not be able to access it without this verification, the code of which should not be given to anyone and used only to access the platform.
Finally, it is important to watch out for sites and links that promise scams, offers that are too good to be true, or free games. Avoid clicks and only use Steam itself to purchase games or items, never submit personal data, credentials or credit card numbers to unknown pages.
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