Nintendo Switch Owners Report Suspicious Account Login Attempts, How To Enable 2FA Now

nintendo switch
It looks as a large number of Nintendo Switch users are under attack. And no, we're talking about verbal barbs from gamers asserting PC dominance, but from hackers trying to infiltrate Nintendo accounts. 

The primary target for the hackers appears to be saved credit card details attached to these accounts, which they then use to make actual game purchases or in-game purchases. Compromised accounts have had payment details stolen with both saved credit cards and linked PayPal accounts.

The hackers have been particularly interested in using the ill-gotten funds to purchase VBucks in-game currency for the ever-popular battle royale game Fortnite. The problem has been growing in the past few weeks, with Twitter user Terran Sherwood indicating that he was robbed of $100 that was used to purchase VBucks.

Editors at Eurogamer and Destructoid have confirmed that their accounts were compromised, but we here at HotHardware have not yet received any such notifications... yet.

There is a way, however, to better secure your account, and that's through two-factor authentication. Nintendo makes it available, but not everyone has taken advantage of it, or even knew that it was available. Well, now you know -- so here's how to enable it:

  1. Go to the Nintendo Account website and sign in to your Nintendo Account.
  2. Select Sign-in and security settings, then scroll down to 2-Step Verification and click Edit.
  3. Click 2-Step Verification settings.
  4. Click Send email to have a verification code sent to the email address on file.
    • If the email address is incorrect, click the Email address menu setting under User Info to change it.
  5. Enter the verification code from the email, then Submit.
  6. Install the Google Authenticator app on your smart device.
  7. Use the smart device app to scan the QR code displayed on your Nintendo Account screen.
  8. A 6-digit verification code will appear on your smart device. Enter the verification code into the field under step 3 on the Nintendo Account screen, then Submit.
  9. A list of backup codes will appear. Click Copy to copy all the codes, then paste them somewhere safe. 
    • A backup code will be required to log in if you don’t have access to the Google Authenticator app. MAKE SURE TO KEEP THESE SOMEWHERE SAFE.
    • You can use these (one time each) if you do not have access to the Google Authenticator app.
  10. Click I have saved the backup codes, then OK.
    • Once set, you can return to the 2-step verification settings section to review the backup codes and remove the 2-step restriction.

Nintendo two-factor authentication system isn't as streamlined as other services, which is probably part of the reason why it hasn't been widely adopted. Nintendo's solution requires a separate, third-party app download in the form of the Google Authenticator. While not ideal, it's better than authorized purchases being made with your account.