Nintendo admitted in April 2020 that hackers may have stolen names and passwords that could be used to access more than 300,000 Nintendo Accounts.
In a statement on its support site, it confirmed that Nintendo Network ID information for a staggering amount of gamers was illegally accessed. And that could mean that your ID and password have been seen, maybe even shared.
Originally, it was thought that 160,000 people were affected, but it’s closer to double that, it turns out.
If you are one of the victims, you will either have been informed already or soon will be, as the Japanese gaming giant vowed to send emails to all account members it believes were exposed.
In addition, it discontinued the ability to use a Nintendo Network ID to access a Nintendo Account and started to inform users on the steps needed to reset their passwords soon.
However, you are also strongly encouraged, whether you have been affected by the breach or not, to enable two-factor verification (AKA two-factor authentication or 2FA) on your account for good measure. Here’s how.
How to enable 2FA on your Nintendo Switch Account
To switch on two-factor verification on your Nintendo Account, head to the account website here, sign in and follow these steps below.
- Click or tap on “Sign-in and security settings” in the left-hand column.
- Click or tap on the “Edit” button next to “2-Step Verificaiton settings” at the bottom of the right-hand column.
- Click or tap the red “2-Step Verification setup” button that appears.
- Click or tap the red “Submit” button that appears under your registered email address.
- You will be sent a verification code to your email address which you will need to enter into the box to continue the process. If you don’t immediately receive the email, do check your junk folder in whichever email client you use.
- Click or tap on the “Submit” button after entering the verification code.
- Once downloaded and installed (if you didn’t already have it), open the Google Authenticator app and tap on the plus symbol at the top of the page.
- Tap on “Scan the barcode” on your mobile device and scan the QR code that appears on the Nintendo Account page using your phone or tablet’s rear camera.
- A section will appear in Google Authenticator under “Nintendo Account” along with a changing set of six randomly generated numbers.
- Type the current six digits into the “Code” section on the Nintendo website and hit “Submit”.
This bit is very important: on the next webpage you will be given 10 “backup codes”. You are strongly advised to write these down, although Google Authenticator has been updated to allow the app to switch between phones – if you lose or upgrade your current device, for example. That was not possible, previously. If you do find yourself locked out of your Nintendo Account and don’t have your phone to hand, one of the backup codes can still get you in.
After that is done you have locked your account behind two-step verification and no-one else can access your Nintendo Account easily. We also suggest you change your password just in case.