Twitch Adds New Phone Verification Option to Avoid Bot Attacks

Bots have become a prominent problem on Twitch. Chatrooms are sometimes full of accounts harassing streamers and other users, most of them without real people behind them. In response to these bot attacks, Twitch added a phone verification option for streamers.

The gaming industry is a prime target for hackers and other cybercriminals. One attack on the PlayStation network compromised 77 million user accounts, making it one of the biggest data breaches in history. Steps like Twitch’s new two-factor authentication (2FA) feature can help prevent situations like that.

So what is two-factor authentication, and how is it helping stop Twitch bot attacks? Here’s a closer look.

Cracking Down on Twitch Bots

Large-scale bot harassment attacks, called “hate raids,” have become a growing problem. In these attacks, automated bots flood a streamer’s chat with dozens or even hundreds of hateful messages.

Twitch streamer RekItRaven brought attention to hate raids in August after experiencing one. Messages reading “this channel now belongs to the KKK” flooded their chat after they described a traumatic life experience on Twitch. Since then, many streamers have come forward saying they’ve experienced similar attacks.

The new Twitch phone verification option aims to stop automated hate raids through two-factor authentication. If you don’t know what 2FA is, it’s fairly straightforward. Instead of using just a password to log in, you’ll also get a one-time code sent to your phone you have to enter.

Many companies use this measure for employees since passwords may be vulnerable, especially if workers reuse them. This new Twitch feature lets streamers require two-factor authentication for viewers to use the chat function. That way, they can be sure only real people, not bots, are typing in the chat.

How to Set Up Twitch Phone Verification

If you want to set up Twitch phone verification, first go to your Dashboard, then click “Settings.” Then go to “Moderation,” where you’ll see a group of settings under “Phone Verification” and “Email Verification.”

From there, you can require users to verify their email or phone to access the chat. You can make this a requirement for everyone, for first-time chatters, accounts of a certain age, or accounts that have followed you for a given period. That way, if you don’t want to restrict the chat for everyone, you can just do it for the accounts that are more likely to be bots.

If you want some added security, you can also set up 2FA for your account, which will protect you from hackers. It’s also a good idea to change your passwords regularly and avoid reusing passwords. That will make it harder to hack into your account.

Security in Gaming Is Crucial

Platforms like Twitch give the gaming community a way to connect like never before, but they present some risks. Trends like hate raids threaten to spoil the enjoyment users can get on Twitch, so security steps like this are a needed change. While Twitch’s phone verification option won’t fix all of its issues, it is a step in the right direction.

Security is a crucial consideration for any gaming process, whether streaming or anything else. Measures like two-factor authentication can help you enjoy games fully without worrying about cybercrime.