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Steam tightens up Family Sharing, adds two-factor authorization

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Valve updated the Steam Family Sharing program Saturday to use a two-factor authorization process to prevent the misuse of the ability to share games between accounts.

"We’ve made a change to the way Family Sharing works in the most recent Steam client beta, where lenders must now identify the Steam users who may access and play their shared games on shared computers," Valve announced in the Steam Community forums. "This allows lenders more control while reducing the risk of VAC (Valve Anti-Cheat) or other bans resulting from an unknown user accessing and abusing shared games on an authorized machine.

"Family Sharing is now a two-factor authorization process, where up to ten Steam accounts on up to ten machines may be authorized to share your library at a given time. Any of these ten users may log into any of your ten authorized machines to access and play your shared games. Additionally, users may still request access to your shared library by sending you a request from any machine where you've installed games."

Steam Family Sharing was launched as a beta last September. It allows users to share their library of games with family and friends by granting access to their library for up to 10 accounts and/or 10 machines. Authorized players can install the game locally as long as the original owner is not playing. Once the library owner logs in and starts playing, shared accounts are given a few minutes to save and quit the game.

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