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Steam has been in the midst of its biggest sale of the year, the Steam Winter Sale, featuring thousands of games marked down for the holidays. In the middle of the skyrocketing traffic with millions of users online accessing the sale, Steam ran into a huge security bug where users’ information was accessible by other users. And, this isn’t the first time Steam has had major security issues. Would it be better to get rid of Steam altogether to avoid future issues? With online games and gaming platforms, it’s always better to be on edge and expect the worst.
This Christmas, Steam Database, along with many other users, took note of the latest security problem.
Users were able to view others’ information as if it was from their own account, such as email address, billing address and the last four digits of account credit cards. Some users’ information was, unfortunately, stolen and used to buy games and content.
Some had speculated that it was a caching bug that turned Steam’s security upside-down. Later on in the day, Steam sent a statement to Steam Database exclaiming that they had experienced a caching bug, but that everything was up and running again.
While many people were affected by the bug, jokes have been spreading across social media about the event.
With the bug finally resolved, Steam managed to escape a holiday nightmare. This isn’t the first time Steam has been hit with a major security breach.
According to Geek, back in July Steam was also hit by some sort of “security bug” that impacted the password reset process, allowing people to easily hack into accounts. All someone had to do was request a password reset and they could easily get into your account. Tons of accounts were hacked and content lost. But does this mean we should drop Steam altogether?
You don’t have to break up with Steam entirely out of anger for their recent screw-up. There are ways you can still make it work. After all, hacks don’t only happen on Steam. Just ask any World of Warcraft player. In terms of your credit card number, you don’t have to have that on your account. Putting your credit card number on your account just makes it easier for you to purchase games, allowing for a one-click response. But if you want to safeguard yourself against certain future security attacks, you can opt out of doing this. It’s okay, you can take the extra two minutes to type in your credit card information for each purchase.
If you’re worried about future attacks on Steam, all I can tell you is, it happens. It happens on PlayStation, Xbox, World of Warcraft, League of Legends, Guild Wars, you name it. There are always going to be greedy people who want to cut corners to get free stuff and it’s a fact of life. No one is entirely protected anywhere unless you are disconnected from the internet and, well—we don’t want that.
On the other hand, I have chosen to opt out of Steam because of the frequency of attacks. My decision is not entirely based off of a security risk, but is also affected by the fact that I’ve become more of a console gamer than a PC gamer. I’ve just seen a lot of security issues with Steam and its constant obsession in taking over my computer and I’ve decided to break up. Steam doesn’t work for everyone. Sometimes it’s just not meant to be. And then you have hackers out there that want to “make a difference and prove a point” so they hack into accounts and breach security for companies like Steam just to say “Hey, make your security better and this won’t happen.” I just feel like Steam is a major target all of the time and rather than deal with a headache, I’ve kicked Steam to the curb.
I’m not saying you should kick Steam too, because I loved Steam when I was on it all of the time. From its flashy sales to a massive library of PC games, it’s hard to turn away from Steam. Make a decision based on your comfort with the online world that lives within Steam’s community and just make it work. With Steam, as with the rest of the internet, it’s smart to always be worried and try to protect yourself and your content in as many ways as possible.