Valve has been paying a lot of attention to trades in Steam lately. In addition to having trading limitations, now players have one additional security step, a captcha box in which people affirm they are not robots.
What’s this for? Valve’s announcement tells it pretty clear: “to avoid malware on users’ machines making trades on their behalf.” So, to make it short, this makes it harder for Steam users to lose stuff because they downloaded some kind of shady malware.
This is no small matter. Steam items can be quite expensive or valious, and having them protected is a big deal. Some of them are cherished even more than actual money. There’s a whole business going on based on Counter Strike, Dota 2 and Team Fortress 2 keys. Moreover, a lot of people use the money from selling items to buy games. In this scenario, even the cheaper trading cards are a little treasure.
As usual, when this kind of thing gets implemented, users get a bit angry. Besides being a bit annoying, which would be a small price to pay for the protection of accounts, some users have been complaining about side-effects. The most important one is that pending trades were automatically cancelled when the captcha system was deployed. Other users have reported a complete inability to perform trades.
Anyway, if you are not getting the captcha box thingy while using third-party services, don’t freak out. Valve’s announcement also included a bit about that: “we’ve excluded a few of the existing third-party trading services from this requirement so they can continue to function.”
Valve has been putting a lot of effort on protecting their users’ accounts and that’s always good. I do believe checking a box isn’t as annoying as having your stuff messed with. Thumbs up for Steam and it’s continuous security updates.