While most people think of spam as affecting email predominantly, it has now become a minor annoyance for those using Microsoft’s Xbox Live service as well.

Most of this spam arrives through the platforms’ instant messaging system where users have reported an unwelcome increase in unsolicited messages. These have come from multiple gamertags as spammers operate across a number of phished accounts.

For now, Microsoft is working on how to prevent these attacks from occurring. If anyone receives an unwanted message, the best method is to report them immediately. You can also change your privacy settings by:

  1. Going to the Dashboard
  2. Selecting Your Avatar
  3. Clicking Profile
  4. Selecting Online Safety
  5. Clicking Change Settings
  6. Selecting Custom
  7. Clicking Customize
  8. Changing everything to Friends Only
  9. Going back and clicking Save and Exit

A major issue here, which doesn’t look like it can be resolved soon, is that an Xbox Live account can be created without being linked to a console. Thus, spammers can simply make multiple accounts from which to send out their malicious messages.

Microsoft has, however, integrated some methods of protecting your own account from being phished. Once a user has set up their backup email address, mobile alerts and two-factor verification, there should be minimal risk of an account being compromised by a spammer.

There are those though who say that Microsoft should have been on top of this problem from the beginning. Any system with a large population of users will eventually attract spammers. With Xbox Live being a closed platform run by a single company, it should have been easy to implement the proper anti-spam measures within the initial development stages. Instead, Microsoft made it easy to sign up which promoted greater user convenience while possibly posing some additional risks to gamers.