As a part of Valve’s recent account security improvements, all accounts that spent less than $5 will not be able to use chat, send friend invites or gain Steam profile levels.
This feature is designed to limit scam accounts that are sending phishing and scam messages to other users. Considering that people use this service for buying and playing games, it should effectively limit those who’re actively using the service for nefarious purposes and also very small amount of free-to-play users, according to Engadget.
Valve states that accounts used for phishing have no investment in their history and that typical Steam users shouldn’t notice a difference aside from a hopeful decrease of spam in their inbox.
Earlier this week, Steam announced that they will be opening up a Mobile Authenticator beta group. Interested users are invited to join the group, where they will be placed in a pool for possible selection. If chosen, they can download Android or iOS application that will secure the user’s account with two-factor authentication, according to GameSpot.
Two-factor security is a relatively new system in computer security, and you can enable it for commonly used websites like Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, and even Battle.net client for Blizzard’s games has a similar authentication system. The system works in a way that the user needs to enter a password and a time generated key from the app to login. This makes it extremely hard for someone to gain access to your account, even if they have one of the pieces (typically your password).
Earlier this month, Blizzard blocked access to Battle.net in Crimea, in order to comply with U.S. sanctions. More on this story here.