Steam account hacked? Here’s your step-by-step account recovery guide
Feb. 19, 2021
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There’s no getting around it. Steam is a PC gamer’s paradise. Launched in 2003, the free cloud-based platform doubles as a virtual library for your computer games and also a marketplace to purchase games.
And those Steam hijackings can come in many forms. Steam users have logged into their account just to discover it's been overtaken by a hacker. Sometimes weak passwords opened the door to cybercriminals. Other times, users alleged that brute force attacks have bypassed Steam's two-factor-authentication tool called Steam Guard. Parents have had their fair share of Steam hackings to deal with, too, due in part to kids clicking dodgy links.
No matter the reason for a Steam hack, the solution always entails steps to recover an account. Here, we’ve outlined how to do just that, including how to contact Steam Support and a few best practices to avoid getting your Steam account stolen.
1. Act fast and run an antivirus program
This first indication that your Steam account might be hacked? That would be an email notification from Steam noting your login is being used on another device. Granted you may indeed be the one logging in on another device.
If it’s not you, remember the longer you let these notifications go, the more time a hacker might have with your personal information, including payment methods. Once you receive a notification, use an antivirus program to scan your computer for dangers such as malicious code, viruses, keyloggers, and spyware, and act on them accordingly.
2. Change your Steam password
Assuming you’re able to access your account, the next step is to change your Steam password right away. After all, if someone has hacked into your account, they know your current one.
How to change your password on Steam
1. Log in to Steam through your browser and select the drop-down arrow next to your username. Click “Account details.”
2. Scroll down to “Account security,” and click “Change my password.”
3. Click the option that allows you to verify your account. Depending on your Steam Guard settings, this will be through a verification code sent to your email or sent to the Steam Mobile app on your smartphone.
4. Retrieve the code from your email.
Input the code and then click continue.
5. Finally, choose a hack-proof password and enter it twice. Click “Change Password.”
For safe measure, Steam also suggests changing the password associated with your email address.
3. Contact Steam Support to recover your account
If you’re locked out of your Steam account entirely and unable to change your password, it’s time to call in the pros. Below, we’ve outlined steps for how to contact Steam Support to verify and recover your account.
How to contact Steam support
1. In your browser, go to the Steam login page and click “Forgot your password?”
2. Select “My Steam Account was stolen and I need help recovering it.”
3. At the bottom of the page, select “Change my password.”
4. Input the email or phone number associated with your account, complete the reCAPTCHA, and click “Search.”
5. At this point, Steam Support should indicate whether it has found an account associated with your contact information. If this is not the case, it’ll prompt you to search with your Steam account name instead. Click “Search with my account name.”
6. Input your account name, complete the reCAPTCHA, then click “Search.”
7. If Steam Support is also unable to find an account name that matches your search, it’ll prompt you once more to “Try searching for an email address or different account name.” Input your information again, complete the reCAPTCHA, then click “Search.”
8. If this attempt fails, Steam Support will finally provide you with the option to create a support ticket. Select “you can click here to contact Steam Support.”
9. Fill out the form, complete the reCAPTCHA, then click “Send.”
10. Steam Support will then send a verification code to the email you provided on the support ticket.
Input the code and click “Send.”
Steam Support should then confirm your request has been submitted and provide a reference code.
A link to the support request will also be sent to your email
Know that it can take anywhere from a few hours to a day to receive a response from Steam Support.
For transparency, Steam logs its volume of support requests publicly on its Steam Support Stats page.
Once Steam Support gets in touch with you, they might also request the following information to verify your account:
- Proof of ownership (credit cards, bank transfers, retail activation keys, Steam Wallet codes)
- Steam Account login names
- Email addresses linked to the account
10 tips to avoid getting your Steam account hacked
Simply being aware of scam types and also red flags indicating your Steam account might be under hijack can go a long way in safeguarding your account and private information. Some of those red flags include random requests for login and password information, unsolicited messages from Steam Support, and mysterious downloads with malicious programs.
In addition, consider the following best practices to keep your Steam account secure.
- Never share your password and know Steam Support will never ask for it.
- Recognize that all legitimate Steam Support members have a “Valve Employee” badge on their account.
- Only use official Steam websites and verify them by the closed padlock next in the address bar, indicating the SSL certificate is secure.
- Enable Steam Guard two-factor authentication.
- Be wary of Steam Friend requests from someone you don’t know.
- Verify your contact email with Steam.
- Select a strong, unique password.
- Regularly scan your computer with anti-virus software.
- Avoid accessing your Steam account on public Wi-Fi.
- Always logout of your Steam account on shared devices.
Between climbing leaderboards and navigating difficult video game levels, gamers have plenty of challenges as is. Dealing with hacking attempts shouldn’t be one of them. Exercising these video game security tips can help alleviate those stressors. In the event your Steam account is compromised, knowing how to recover it —and how to recover it fast — can get you back to your gameplay hopefully in no time. Game on!
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