It’s a fear that all gamers have at some point: their Steam account getting hacked. With games, saves, and precious in-game items on the line, it’s easy to get worried when your account information is compromised. If you’re one of the unlucky few whose account has been hacked, don’t panic.
In this article, we’ll walk you through the steps you need to take to secure your account and get back up and running. So, whether your account has been hacked or you’re just looking to stay ahead of the curve, keep reading!
Steps to Take When Steam is Hacked
Like any other modern online platform, Steam isn’t immune to hackers. Indeed, there have been several reports of people having their accounts hacked and unable to access their games or information.
Once they’ve gained access, hackers can do serious damage, including deleting games, changing account details, and stealing personal information. They can even steal your games for sale on the black market.
So, what do you do if your Steam account gets hacked?
Run an Anti-Virus Program Immediately
Once you realize something is wrong with your Steam account, it’s important to take action immediately to minimize the damage and protect your data.
One of the first steps you should take is to run an anti-virus program to scan your system for malware. Hackers often use malicious software to access your account and steal sensitive information. An anti-virus program can help to detect and remove this malware, protecting your computer from further damage.
In addition, running an anti-virus scan can help identify any other files or programs the hackers may have compromised. It can also help protect your device from future attempts to access it.
When choosing an anti-virus program, don’t worry too much about the specific tool you choose at the moment. Avast, Bitdefender, and Norton Security all work well despite some controversies surrounding their usage. All three services also offer free trials, so you always have the option to cancel as soon as your Steam account is out of the woods.
Change Your Password
Changing your password regularly is always a good idea, but it’s even more important if you think your account has been compromised. After all, if a hacker already has access to your account, they already know your current password or at least know a way around it. However, you’ll always have the upper hand because your password is linked to your email address or phone number.
Here’s how to change your password on Steam:
- Sign in to your Steam account on any browser of your choice.
- Click on the Steam menu in the top right corner and select “Settings” from the dropdown list. This should open the Settings dialogue box that displays your username, email address, Valve Anti-Cheat (VAC) status, and security status.
- Click on “Change Password.” This should launch a second dialogue sub-window requiring you to choose how you want to change your password.
- Assuming you still have access to the email address linked to your account, select “Email an account verification code.”
- At this point, open your email account on a new window and fetch the code sent by Steam.
- Navigate to the original window, enter the code in the field provided, and hit the “Continue” button.
- Enter the new password twice in the fields provided and then click on “Change Password.”
Once you’ve submitted your new password successfully, all active logins will be logged out, including any hackers who may have breached your account. You’ll need to log in again using your new password.
Your new password should be strong to eliminate any weaknesses the hackers may have exploited to breach your account. In this regard:
- Eight characters are the bare minimum, but twelve or more is even better. The longer your password is, the more difficult it will be for someone to crack it.
- Your password should contain a mix of upper- and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. This makes it much harder for hackers to use brute force methods to guess your password.
If the hacker has locked you out of your account, you can still reset your password as follows:
- Open the Steam login page and click on “Forgot Your Password?”
- Enter your username and the email address linked to your account, and click the “Search” button.
- Click on “Email an account verification code.”
- Open your email account in a new tab and copy the code sent from Steam.
- Return to Steam, enter the code in the field provided, and hit the “Continue” button.
- Enter your new password and click on “Change Password.”
Contact Steam Support
If you’ve been locked out of your account and cannot change your password because you no longer have access to the email address linked to your account, you need to contact Steam Support immediately.
- Visit the Steam homepage and click on the login button in the top right corner.
- Click on “Forgot your password?” at the bottom of the page. This should take you to the Steam support page where various account access problems have been listed.
- Click on “My Steam account was stolen and I need help recovering it.” This should launch a page that shares general guidelines on securing your account.
- Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on “Reset my password.”
- Enter the email address or phone number associated with your account and hit the search button. At this point, Steam’s algorithms will perform a background search for your account.
- If your Steam account cannot be found, you’ll be prompted to search once more but this time using your account name. Select “Search with my account name.”
- Enter your account name and hit the search button.
- If Steam still cannot find your account, you’ll again be prompted to search for a different email address or account name. Enter this information and click on “Search.”
- If there’s no trace of your account at this point, you’ll be provided with the option to create a support ticket. To do so, select “you can click here to contact Steam Support.”
- Fill out and submit the form provided. Steam Support will contact you via the email address provided on that form.
Depending on the number of requests lodged, it can take up to a day before Steam Support gets back to you.
What To Do if Items Were Stolen From Your Account
If you’re unlucky, hackers will breach your Steam account and cart away your purchases, including games and in-game items such as skins and weapons. But is there a way to get these items back?
Sadly, there isn’t. According to Steam Support, the platform doesn’t restore lost items because possession of such items changes hands several times before the original owner lodges a restoration request.
In these circumstances, Steam considers it extremely difficult to restore the items without duplication or unfair removal of the items from another innocent gamer’s account. In particular, they argue that duplication would lower the items’ value, negatively impacting all traders on the platform.
However, it’s important to note that each situation is different, and you should never rule out getting your items back. As soon as you discover that your items are missing, you should take steps to notify Steam support immediately. The sooner you do this, the higher the likelihood of getting back your inventory.
Selfishly Protect Your Account
Steam is one of the most popular gaming platforms in the world, with over 125 million users. Unfortunately, this also makes it a prime target for hackers. A hacked Steam account can lead to stolen money, games, and other items. This can be extremely frustrating and upsetting.
If it happens to you, you should try to change your password immediately. If unable to do that, you should create a support ticket and get a chance to discuss the matter with a Steam Support representative.
What if your account hasn’t been hacked yet but is looking to stay ahead of the curve?
First, never use the same password for more than one account. If a hacker gets access to your Steam account, they could also use that password to gain access to your other accounts. That’s why having a unique password for each of your online accounts is important.
Second, make sure your password is strong. A strong password is at least 8 characters long and includes a mix of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Avoid using easily guessed words like “password” or your birthday.
Third, enable two-factor authentication (2FA) on your account. This will require you to enter a code from your phone or an authenticator app every time you log in, making it much harder for hackers to gain access to your account.
Finally, be careful about what information you share online. Hackers can use social engineering techniques to trick you into revealing sensitive information like your password or date of birth. So be cautious.
Have you been a victim of a hacking incident on Steam? How did you get your account back? Feel free to share tips and tricks with fellow gamers in the comments below.