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If anyone remembers the olden days of World of Warcraft, it’s hard to forget the rampant hacking that went on and caused quit a bit of aggravation. You only needed to visit the forums to see thread after thread describing the sordid state of affairs that was one unlucky player thinking that a mysterious in-game mail would actually provide free gold if they followed the URL.

Then there were the ever convincing flow of spam emails, each looking more authentic than the last.

This turn of events led to Blizzard developing their mobile authenticator, which in turn, led to the relief for all those hardcore World of Warcraft players.

Blizzard is not the only company making the decision to use two-step authentication. As security concerns and hacking increases, companies like Google and Twitter have found it necessary to offer two-step authentication.

It’s no surprise then that Steam has taken it upon themselves to begin beta testing a mobile authenticator. The offering is being extended to Steam users through a beta group. Participants in the group will then be selected and given access to a mobile authenticator program on Android only (IOS devices will be tested later on).

Feedback from the mobile authenticator group seems to indicate that the app itself need a lot of tweaking. Some comments include how the activation process is “wonky” and on some tablets it has been reported to be reducing performance significantly. Hopefully these words don’t fall on deaf ears.

As for the authenticator’s features, Steam has added a way to backup codes in case you lose your phone. The process is as simple as logging into your account and generating the codes before you drop your phone into the toilet (don’t laugh, we have all done it). If you lose your phone before you get the chance to actually generate the backup codes, you can log into your Steam account and have another code sent via SMS to your phone for a new authenticator. If your phone number changes, then you’ll have to contact support.

So, what do you guys think? Will this authenticator be necessary with Steam’s current system or is it just overkill?

Jon Schear

Staff Writer

Graphic and web designer by day, amateur digital artist/illustrator and writer for Techraptor by night. When I’m not doing any of those things, you can find me getting extremely angry in WoW as I watch my Moonkin get killed multiple times in PVP or drinking scotch.

  • thegreygamer

    What if you don’t have a smart phone / tablet device?
    I’m largely housebound so don’t ‘need such devices, so I hope it is optional otherwise I will be looking for a refund for all my games on steam

  • Alex White

    Yeah, it will need to be optional or at the least have an actual authenticator, thats what Blizzard did, was just a little key fob.

  • TheCybercoco

    I will laugh because I have never dropped a phone in the toilet (I don’t bring phones to toilets).

    Steam’s current system is enough for my needs. Steam recognizes the device (my gaming rig) I use to log into it. Access to Steam login and an email account is required to log into Steam on a new device. It would take skills that are better than the typical script kiddie to spoof a MAC address, and people with those skills will likely be uninterested in attempting to acquire the average person’s MAC addresses to steal a Steam account. Adding an extra step of authentication might only complicate things and inconvenience me.

  • HisShadowX

    Fact is an authenactor is almost like a condom but better. A really good hacker can yes still get into your account but when it comes to small fish they typically have no reason to go after the little guys.

    Fact that gaming has helped provide a feature that has helped secure email accounts and now banking it’s a welcome change. Come on all someone has to do is research you a little they can know your security questions like that.

    It used to be so easy to break into someone’s account.

    The fact Yahoo still insists on not having an authenactor is the reason why I left them years ago.

    Microsoft finally got the hint and uses google for those who want to use googles authenactor for their account.

    Companies like Chase Bank are adding the security token feature in which they use the key chain codes for business accounts for now

  • Ranond

    I like authenticators. I am glad Steam is taking this step forward, because getting the email code is more annoying, IMO, than just checking my phone for a number.