Secure your Steam account to protect your games. If your Steam account gets hacked, it’s possible you lose all the content inside. Gaming accounts, like a Steam account, include more than games. There are also skins, special items, achievements, and other valuable content. And gaming is one of the most popular pastimes in the world. Thus, it’s not very surprising that web criminals are targeting gamers. There’s a lot to steal in the gaming world.
“Let’s say you have a Steam account, for example, that has some cool items in a game. Your account may be more valuable than you think. In such situations, attacks on these accounts can be targeted on a very long-term basis,” says Laura Kankaala, Senior Security Consultant at F-Secure.
And that’s not all. You probably don’t want criminals to have your phone number, home address, credit card number, or passwords either. Criminals can use these details for identity theft, such as buying goods and taking loans in your name. Many of your online user accounts include these details. That’s why protecting your online accounts is important. They are more valuable than you think. But how to secure your Steam account? And all the others too? Read on to find out.
How to secure your Steam Account with Steam Guard
Steam Guard is a two-factor authentication system for your Steam account. It works either by a pass code sent in email or Steam mobile authenticator. Enable Steam Guard to prevent your Steam account from getting hacked.
Here’s how you enable Steam Guard:
- Sign into Steam through the Steam app or browser
- Open account settings
- Go to Manage Steam Guard Account Security
- Choose between authentication through Steam app or passcodes sent in email
The many ways of stealing login credentials
Data breach is an attack that’s carried out against an online service. Once the attacker is in the system, they try to steal valuable data. Like user data, login credentials, and other personal details. The largest breaches include hundreds of millions of login credentials.
Most people use the same password everywhere. That helps the attackers to get access to valuable accounts with just one password. That’s why even an insignificant data breach could have serious consequences.
Criminals also use phishing scams to trick people into giving their credentials or other personal details. Additionally, they can approach you directly with instant messages. The goal is to get the victim to trust the attacker. The attacker will then try to get the victim to open a link or in other way scam them. This is called social engineering.
“For example, an attacker could pretend to be a public figure or in some other way create a context around a scam. This is to create the impression that you think the scammer knows what they are talking about. This way the scammer can continue the conversation for a very long time before, for example, sending a scam link at a stage where the victim no longer suspects a scam,” says Kankaala.
Finally, they could infect your device with spyware. With it they record your keystrokes when you type your email and password.
How to secure your other online accounts
A Steam account is just one possible target. Secure your other online and gaming accounts as well. The following rules apply to protecting most of your online accounts.
1. Use unique passwords
Using the same password on all your accounts is a huge risk. If it gets stolen, criminals have access to all the accounts that use it. Use a different password for every account. That way criminals can access only one account. While a data breach is still a risk, its consequences are limited only to one account. It’s also a lot easier to secure one breached account than many of them. That’s why your every password matters.
“Password is definitely the most important way. It shouldn’t be the same everywhere. If you want to go further, you should consider using a couple of different emails, one of which would be reserved for important accounts, for example, and the other for everything else,” Kankaala says.
Pro tip! Using unique passwords is a lot easier with a password manager, like F-Secure ID PROTECTION.
2. Enable two-factor authentication
With two-factor authentication (2FA) no one can login to your user account with just a password. 2FA, like Steam Guard, is another layer of verification. The second layer is usually a one-time passcode, an authenticator app, or fingerprint. Enable Steam Guard, and you have a good start. But remember to activate 2FA on other important accounts as well.
3. Find out if the online services you use have been breached
It’s important to change your password to a breached account. To do that, you first have to find out about the breach. That might sound obvious, but how do you actually do that?
You can check your status for free with F-Secure’s ID Theft Checker. But when a breach happens, it’s important to react fast. Criminals don’t necessarily use the stolen data right away. F-Secure ID PROTECTION’s 24/7 breach alerts give you time to secure your accounts before criminals get in.