Finding out that your Steam account has been suspended can be a frustrating experience. Account owners will not necessarily be contacted in the case of a suspension, so you may be scratching your head as to why you've been locked out. Some suspensions can be reversed by submitting an Account Recovery form to Steam Customer Service. If you've broken some of the bigger rules, however, you may have to say goodbye to your game collection.
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Hijacking and Trading
Steam doesn't take kindly to accounts being accessed by people who did not create them. Gaining unauthorised access to someone else's account will result in a suspension, as can using a Steam account that has been purchased from someone else. Steam considers selling user accounts to be a violation of their terms of service, so even if you and the account owner agreed on a fair trade, if Steam finds out about it, they'll shut the account down.
Code of Conduct
Steam does its best to create a safe, welcoming social environment for members of its community. Harassing other players in game or in Steam chat can swiftly lead to Steam making you take a timeout. Posting copyright-protected images, uploading viruses or malware, or using Steam to spam other users will also result in a suspension. As long as you play nice and don't do anything that could disrupt someone else's gaming experience, you don't have to worry about getting shut down.
Piracy and Fraudulent Payments
Game piracy is a matter that Steam takes very seriously. Trying to use cracked product codes or fake CD keys will not only get you suspended, but there's a good chance that they might not work at all. Using a credit card or PayPal account will earn you a suspension as well, not to mention a heap of legal trouble. If you want to play on Steam, you'll have to pay for your games just like everybody else does.
Some people don't like to play fair. Countless game hacks and cheats have been created by clever coders who want to give themselves the advantage. If a cheating Steam user is detected by a Valve Anti-Cheat Secured server, the account in question won't just be suspended -- it'll be permanently banned. Banned users sometimes still have access to single player games, but they'll have to kiss their multiplayer days goodbye.
If your Steam account has been suspended even though you've done nothing wrong, there's the strong possibility that someone else has been using your account. True account owners are sometimes the innocent bystanders in account suspensions, which Steam is aware of. If you suspect that your account has been hacked, fill out Steam's account recovery form. A customer service representative will help you get your account back once they've confirmed your rightful ownership.
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