As of right now, Steam is beta-testing a new mobile-based two-factor authentication (TFA) system to augment its current email-based one, known as Steam Guard.
Thus far, Steam Guard has done a pretty good job of helping gamers ensure their Steam login details don’t fall into the wrong hands, as anyone attempting to log in to your account from a new PC must enter a special code sent to the email address associated with your Steam account which, presumably, only you have access to.
But that’s not particularly convenient in the age of the smartphone, so Valve is in the process of developing a new TFA system that uses the Steam mobile app, according to VG247. The site says that Valve boss Gabe Newell showed the world his password as he announced it, confident that his account would remain uncompromised thanks to the new system.
Gamers can make themselves available for selection in the beta testing programme by joining the Steam Guard Mobile Authenticator Beta community; if Valve selects your account, you will get access to Steam Guard options in the official Steam app that non-testers don’t. As of yesterday, the first 100 accounts had been chosen, with more to follow.
The additions to Steam Guard are only currently available for the Android version of the Steam app, however, but Valve says that it is in development for iOS as well and that it “should be available soon”.
While I applaud Valve for their dedication, it seems a little unnecessary to me – surely if you have a smartphone, you have access to email through it, making receiving codes through the Steam app a little redundant. But that’s just me.
The important thing is that Steam users will soon have the choice as to how they’d like to manage their Steam Guard codes, which isn’t a bad thing at all.[Source – VG247]