Valve introduces new Steam Guard account protection

Valve is set to release a new account protection feature called Steam Guard. This adds an additional layer of security to your Steam account. When enabled, it will prevent unauthorized access to your Steam account. When anyone attempts to login as you from an unrecognized computer, they will be required to enter a one-time authorization code. A special authorization code is e-mailed to the contact address that you have verified with on Steam. The code must then be entered into Steam before your first login on an unfamiliar computer is complete. If a user attempts to login to your account from a computer that is not authorized you will receive a notification e-mail. Even if they have your password entered correctly, the Steam Guard prompt will appear and you will receive an e-mail. Screenshots are enclosed below.

There is no limit to the number of computers you can authorize with your Steam account. You can access your Steam account and library from as many machines as you’d like. So you would easily be able to continue using Steam on your desktop, along with your laptop and any other computer you may use. But it doesn’t stop there because you can still login on your PlayStation 3. This will make gaming safer and more enjoyable for Steam users.

Due to the problems with account phishing and hijacking Valve decided that something had to be done. These problems are the number one support issues that Valve receives. Quite often you could see a message from a user, or a comment on a Steam group that was a phishing attempt. They would post a url to a website designed to look like steampowered.com offering a free game or multiple free games. Unfortunately, due to the copy of the Steam website design, users would enter their login credentials to the phishing site and shortly thereafter lose their account to the phisher.

“Account phishing and hijacking are our top support issues,” said Gabe Newell, President of Valve. “With Steam Guard, we’ve taken a big step towards giving customers the account security they need as they purchase more and more digital goods.”

At the CeBIT computing trade show in Hannover, Germany; Valve and Gabe Newell began to show what all Steam Guard can really do. Aside from demonstrating with his own account, Gabe also talked about how Steam plans to add additional ways to authorize in the near future. One of these additions ways is a new technology called Identity Protection Technology, or ITP by Intel. This is a hardware based security feature that will debut with the second generation Intel Core and Intel Core vPro processors. This authorization will be effortless since the chipset will help provide the authorization.

Currently you can opt-in to it by editing your Steam Client settings and selecting the option “Steam Beta”. After which you must restart your Steam Client three times. The first restart is so the beta client update can be applied and after that you only need to restart it two more times. This allows the Steam Guard option to appear in your settings. But don’t worry about restarting three times, it’s only for the Steam Beta featuring Steam Guard. Once you’ve verified your e-mail address with Steam, you’ll be able to use Steam Guard.

For more information about¬†Steam Guard and Intel Identity Protection Technology, visit Steam Support’s knowledge base.

Enabling Steam Guard:

Steam Guard enabled:

Steam Guard authorization prompt:

E-mail notification:

It’s great to see companies taking steps to help protect their users and it will keep getting better. Great work, Valve.