Valve has introduced a new policy that aims to reduce cases of spam and phishing on Steam by limiting what users can do before they spend at least $5 on the digital games distribution platform.
“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 said. “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.”
Users will now need to spend at least $5 on the Steam store before they can:
- 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
This isn’t the only security upgrade Valve has introduced recently. Earlier this week, Steam added a Mobile Authenticator beta group, where users can test a new two-factor authentication. If you don’t already use two-factor authentication on your other online account (you should), it sends you a text with a new password every time you log in, making sure that it’s the actual account holder trying to log into the account.
If Steam’s previous beta groups are any indication, this feature will roll out to all users soon.