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How to make Steam more secure - protect your acccount

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Make sure you aren't locked out of your Steam account with our step-by-step guide

What with the many Steam sales and Humble Bundle deals, you've likely got plenty of games in your Steam library and you wouldn't want to lose access to them. Steam is frequently hacked and most recently on Christmas Day last year, a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack revealed around 34,000 users billing addresses, credit card numbers, telephone numbers and email addresses.

Thankfully, Valve does have a pretty good account security feature called Steam Guard, which is basically their version of two-factor authentication. As it's an additional level of security, when Steam Guard is enabled, anyone trying to log in to your account from an unrecognised device will have to provide additional security information, in the form of an authentication code, in order to verify legitimate access. When doing this, you'll either receive your authorisation code through your registered verified email address or through the Steam Mobile App. 

Verify your email address

In order to set up Steam Guard, you've first got to verify your email address associated with your account. First things first, right-click on the Steam icon in the Desktop tray if you're on Windows, or open Steam, click on Steam in the top-right and then preferences if you're on Mac. 

Steam security

You'll then want to click on 'Verify Email Address' and follow the on-screen instructions to be sent a verification email message from Steam Support. In the email, you'd have been sent a unique web address link, which you need to click on in order to successfully verify your email address. Be sure to check your spam folder if you can't find the email.

You can check if this has been successful by going to your Steam profile and visiting your Steam Account Settings and you should see a 'verified' status indicator. A verified Steam Account means you'll get an email every time a request is made to change part of your account, such as your account password or secret question-and-answer. 

Enabling Steam Guard via email

There are two main methods of enabling Steam Guard on your account; via email and through the Steam Mobile App. Once you've verified your email address, Steam Guard is automatically enabled on your account once you've restarted Steam. If it has been disabled though and you want to reactivate it, the process is very straightforward. All you need to do, while logged into the Steam client on your PC/Mac, is click on "Steam" in the top left corner, go to settings and click on "Manage Steam Guard Account Security".

Steam security

You should now see that Steam Guard is enabled on your account and with that, you'll be sent a code via email every time you try to sign-in from an unrecognised device. It's just that simple.

Enabling Steam guard via smartphone app

There are a few more steps when it comes to enabling Steam Guard via the Steam Mobile app for your phone. First up, you have to download the Steam Mobile Authenticator app to your Android or iOS device and log into your account. Once you've done this, tap the "Menu" icon in the top left and select "Steam Guard" to take you through to the authentication process.

Steam security

From here, tap "Authenticator" to set Steam Guard up and enter your phone number so that a verification code can be sent via text. This is also useful if you ever lose access to your account too. Once you get your confirmation code, enter it in the app and you'll then get a recovery code, which you should safely store so you can use it to identify yourself as the owner of the authenticator.  Once the authenticator is enabled, a limiited time code will constantly refresh in the app, use this when asked to successfully sign-in to your account.

Wanting to increase security on all of your online accounts? Be sure to read our guides on how to recover your account if your Gmail gets hacked and how to make sure your Gmail account is as secure as possible.

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