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Valve is always coming up with new ways to keep players protected and safe when engaging in online activities with various games available on Steam. In the case of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive they will have a new holding period for items when players attempt to make trades.
Over on the Counter-Strike blog they reveal that there is going to be a new holding period for trades when players attempt to make trades using the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive marketplace.
The new trade hold will automatically kick into effect for anyone who does not have the new Steam mobile authenticator. Yes, the same kind of mobile authenticator app that Blizzard uses for many of their games such as World of Warcraft and Diablo 3. If you do have the Steam mobile app you can instantly confirm the trade and get on about your business. If you do not have the Steam mobile app, the trade will stay in holding until both parties making the trade can confirm that everything is satisfactory before proceeding to finishing up the trade.
If anything looks suspicious or out of place you can browse through trades on hold and cancel anything that looks out of the ordinary. Otherwise you can proceed and finish the trade with someone else for whatever items you're trading. Over on the Steam mobile authenticator website, part of the notice states that the new app will help make trading instant, otherwise gamers will have to deal with trading holds in their favorite games like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive...
Starting Dec 9, anyone losing items in a trade will need to have a Steam Guard Mobile Authenticator enabled on their account for at least 7 days. Otherwise, to protect against unauthorized trades, items will be held by Steam for up to 3 days before delivery
Valve is using this opportunity to also push for the Steam mobile authenticator app. Players who sign up and grab the app between now and December 16th will be eligible to receive a 5% discount on all marketplace purchases on Steam. That's not a bad incentive just for grabbing an app to better protect your account and your trading?
This move from Valve isn't surprising at all. In fact, it seems like this move is kind of late given all the online account thefts and security breaches that many online services are known for.
Blizzard got wise many years ago during the peak of World of Warcraft and began to increase the security around their products when hacked accounts and account trading was a popular thing to do many years ago. At this point the mobile authenticator for many of Blizzard's titles is just common security practice.
With Valve catering to well over a 125 million users the world around, it seems like it's been a long time coming to have mobile authentication made mandatory for trades. We don't always hear about the trading scams in the gaming news at major websites, but it happens often enough in games like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive that it's become an issue that Valve is attempting to address with the new trade-holds feature, preventing users with fraudulent accounts or intentions from gaining the upperhand on unsuspecting users.
You can look for the trade holds to go into full effect on December 9th.