Should I Use my Real Name on Steam?
Steam allows you to choose your display name, profile image, and password. You can choose to use your real name or a pseudonym. We'll explain the pros and cons of each choice and offer some advice on how to make the right choice.
Welcome to the hunger games; these steam players can be brutal so ensure you choose an alias to make yourself invisible. Be like a ghost on the steam platform to avoid getting doxxed by the imperceptible demons of these games. Steam is a great platform where you can buy games; gain badges and interact with many different interesting players, trade gaming items, loot and more; but be wise so that you’re not later surprised.
You may have noticed that steam gamers are very imaginative with their use of account display usernames and the irony is amusing too. It's common to see names like one ton soup1277, inferno, ISwearSheWasLv18, ICantPauseItMom and probably one of my favourites: I can see your pixels. So we can deduce that since nobody has ICantPauseItMom imprinted on their birth-certificate; this proves that nobody with their right mind would expose their true identity by exposing their real full name. This is because discrepancy is a doxxers or scammers worst nightmare. Relatedly, females may choose to give themselves an identity which obscures their identity in order to avoid harassment online.
So what is doxxing exactly? Doxxing is usually a personal attack upon a person. Specifically, doxxing is when an individual uses any information about you such as your IP address, name, location, etc. to hack into an account. This can be to either expose the victims information through impersonation or use the victims account to scam it and steal game items, loot, etc.
One of the greatest ways to protect yourself from these scavengers is to make sure you don’t hand them the breadcrumbs. Hiding your name is a sure simple way to start protecting yourself.
You can do this by changing your display name first. Your display name is different from your actual name that you make your account with.
So how do I change my display name?
You can firstly navigate to the display at the top-right hand corner of the menu bar.
Next, you can click the profile from the drop-down menu. You can then click on the edit profile option underneath your level. You can then scroll down to find your profile name.
Underneath the profile name, you can enter the new name you wish to change it to. To finalize the option, press save at the bottom to save your new settings.
Steam creates a demanding environment for doxxers, as it does with many platforms which involve real-life money. There are many ways to be scammed when your name and other information is exposed or made available. So it’s a good idea to be aware of certain scamming and doxxing tricks.
Ways the sharks attack on Stream?
It's important to be aware of some of the notorious ways in which you can be attacked on Steam. This way you can better understand why it’s so important to hide your name and keep your details as private as possible.
The Impersonation hack
This scam involves an impersonator posing as a member of the Valve staff. You will then be tricked into giving the hacker items in one way or another. A Valve employee or Steam Community Moderator will never ask you for your Steam account credentials, credit card information, etc. A user will never be punished for refusing to make a trade or click on a link. Users are advised to get support through Steam's support website if they face such claims.
In many cases, viruses are spread through misleading links. Generally, these links resemble links from popular websites (such as imgur, steam, youtube etc.) but only differ by one letter. Eventually, the victim would get a virus and lose all of his inventory or even his personal information. It may be that they post links on your profile or in chat.The majority of them are spam bots. Avoid adding anyone with a private profile or a level 0-1 account. It will increase security. Be careful of clicking on any links that come from unknown sources.
Trading scams -most common
Scams for buying and selling items are probably the most prevalent on Steam. There are certain signs or red-flags to avoid. First, do not trust people with low-profiles; people who have many items but are on a low level like 1-30 are a little sketchy. It’s odd how they have so many items on such a low level. Before doing business with any buyer, check their Steam reputation. Check for unverified reports. Be sure you are doing business with a legit buyer.
Try to avoid any trading which occurs where a middle-man is in the equation. Middle men can also easily be faked or impersonated. Apart from having very low level stats hackers also own fake +reps so ensure you check thoroughly. Another red flag is that most scammers offer a market price of 100%-120%. In addition, another major tell-tale sign that an account is a scammer is that most of them are new accounts and not as old as 1-2 years old. Moreover, scammers often use other people's information boxes that they copy and paste from well known dealers and present them as their own. Scammers and hackers also end up leading to a point where they try and convince you to show them their REP thread.
So what can you do ?
Apart from not exposing your name and other personal and sensitive information , which is only common sense, you can also take additional measures. Firstly, when it comes to trading on Steam, always do your research and never provide them with any information even if it seems legit. To prevent doxxers from hijacking your steam account you can also use Steam settings. You can ensure your steam account is guarded with two factor authentication and verification. Ensure that your email address is verified with Steam and ensure you do not share your email details with anyone.
In terms of your login details, select a really complex password and don’t use the same password for all your accounts; as we’ve said before doxxers hate discrepancy the way vampires hate garlic.
Take additional precautions, ensure you use a great antivirus software, there are ones which are specifically tailored for gamers such as Panda security or Bull-Guard.
Likewise conceal your IP location by using a great VPN specifically for gaming.
There are also various browser extensions which help protect your steam account. For example there are steam account protection extensions on the chrome store that help you with security settings. They can sometimes notify you of notorious scammers on steam and can shield you from many other threats. They alert you if a user had been banned or reported in the past. They can also show you which users are bots. As a perk, most of these extensions are open source and completely free.
In case of being hijacked or doxxed, also change your password regularly and link it to your phone number. Not only does linking your steam to your phone number help if your account gets into the wrong hands, it can help you with a myriad of issues such as if you're having problems logging in, losing access to your primary email address and getting into the Steam guard authenticator.
You could also use the mobile Steam Authenticator if you haven't already done so.You can find this through the Steam mobile app. With this app you can authenticate all your login details, you can follow up on Steam trades and track and endorse the Steam community market listings.
Conclusion: Don't use your real name on Steam
So whatever happens do not use your real name on Steam unless you want to be attacked! We hope that this guide for Steam has been useful. For more guides on Steam or doxxing in general; visit our blog pragmatic paranoia, paranoia at its best.