Valve has decided it’s time to crack down on spammers and phishers by implementing a new policy that will limit the abilities of new and existing users.
The limits will be implemented based on how much a user has spent in the Steam store. If a user has spent less than $5 US, or has less than $5 US in their Steam Wallet, they will be affected.
“Malicious users often operate in the community on accounts which have not spent any money, reducing the individual risk of performing the actions they do,” Valve wrote in a statement on the Steam Support site. “One of the best pieces of information we can compare between regular users and malicious users are their spending habits as typically the accounts being used have no investment in their longevity. Due to this being a common scenario we have decided to restrict certain community features until an account has met or exceeded $5.00 USD in Steam.”
The new limits mean affected users will no longer be able to do the following:
- Send friend invites
- Open group chat
- Vote on Greenlight, Steam Reviews and Workshop items
- Participate in the Steam Market
- Post frequently in the Steam Discussions
- Gain Steam Profile Levels (Locked to level 0) and Trading Cards
- Submit content on the Steam Workshop
- Post in an item’s Steam Workshop Discussions
- Access the Steam Web API
- Use browser and mobile chat
Valve also mentioned that doing things like activating retail games through steam or adding non-Steam game shortcuts to libraries will not bring accounts any closer to unlocking the above features. Refunded games will also be subtracted from an account’s total purchases.
To users who don’t know what games they want to purchase yet, an easy solution is to simply add $5.00 to your Steam Wallet to use later.
“We’ve chosen to limit access to these features as a means of protecting our customers from those who abuse Steam for purposes such as spamming and phishing,” Valve said.
Accounts using other currencies will be limited if they have not spent the equivalent of $5.00 USD.
Valve has recently been stepping up its efforts to tighten security. Steam recently started a Mobile Authenticator beta group for users to test a new type of two-factor authentication. Under this system, accounts are automatically given a new password every time somebody tries to log in. The new passwords are sent to users via text to ensure it’s the account owner that’s trying to gain access. It’s a little extra effort to log in, but it’s a huge boost to account security.