As many as 77, 000 Steam accounts are hacked every month

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We see around 77,000 accounts hijacked and pillaged each month,said Valve yesterday, when explaining the reason for the implementation of trade holds.

Trade holds are a period of time where Steam holds onto all items traded. After the period expires, the newly traded items are released to their respective owners.

The reason for the hold is a simple one, security.

While professional gamers, streamers and established item traders are the most likely targets, anyone can have their account hacked – you don’t need to be naïve or ignorant to be a victim.

Practically every active Steam account is now involved in the economy, via items or trading cards, with enough value to be worth a hacker’s time. Essentially all Steam accounts are now targets,” said Valve.

And they’re right when you consider the library of games, collection of tradable items as well as private information gathered in one convenient account.

We used to hold the opinion that if you were smart about account security, you’d be protected–it’s easy to assume that users whose accounts were stolen were new or technically naïve users who must be sharing their passwords or clicking on suspicious links. That’s simply not the case.”

That’s why Steam holds onto your items, giving you time to rectify a security breach before you lose your hard-earned items.

In cases where you were responsible and subject to a targeted attack, rather than just being careless, Valve will refund you, but that deflates the value of the market and the items traded through it.

Trade holds are for those who believe they don’t need the additional protection of things like two-factor authorisation or any other additional security. But given Steam’s reported statistics and this lengthy, missive letter from Valve themselves, they’re apparently very wrong. They most certainly do.

Steam does understand, however, that there are many of you who are perfectly competent and take every precaution, and simply don’t want to wait.

That’s why there are ways to officially and securely circumnavigate the trade hold:

  • Anyone losing items in a trade will need to have a Steam Guard Mobile Authenticator enabled on their account for at least 7 days and have trade confirmations turned on. Otherwise, items will be held by Steam for up to 3 days before delivery.
  • If you’ve been friends for at least 1 year, items will be held by Steam for up to 1 day before delivery.
  • Accounts with a Mobile Authenticator enabled for at least 7 days are no longer restricted from trading or using the Market when using a new device since trades on the new device will be protected by the Mobile Authenticator.

How many of you have been victims of account theft? It needn’t just be Steam by the way.

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As many as 77, 000 Steam accounts are hacked every month

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