Don’t Panic, But Maybe Enable Two-Factor Authentication on Your Switch

160,000 Nintendo accounts were hacked at the beginning of the month.

After conducting an internal investigation, Nintendo has announced that around 160,000 Nintendo Network IDs have been compromised by a hacking attempt on several accounts on the service.

According to the announcement posted on Nintendo’s Japanese website (wild that this is a worldwide issue and Nintendo only appears to have made an official statement in one language), hackers may have had access to your profile’s nickname, date of birth, gender, your country/region, and your email address. Luckily, the company says that credit card information you may have had stored on the account is still safe.

While access to your account would allow the offender to make purchases with your account, it wouldn’t grant them access to your actual credit card information. If any purchases were made with your account, Nintendo says you can contact the company and get that fixed without question.

As a result of this, Nintendo has removed the option to log in to accounts by Nintendo Network ID and will be resetting the passwords of the 160,000 accounts affected. However, despite these new measures being put into place on Nintendo’s end, the company (and us here at Fanbyte period com, because it’s a generally good idea) recommends enabling two-factor authentication to log in to your Nintendo account from here on out, as it will help you keep out anyone who doesn’t have access to two of your devices.

In other news:

Nintendo first announced it was investigating reports of these hacking attempts back on Tuesday. The company’s official stance was to enable two-factor authentication in the meantime, but now that it’s more than just a hypothetical it’s even more important because now we all have to be aware of the weaknesses Nintendo’s account security has and adjust accordingly. I still know some folks that refuse to put their credit card information on PlayStation Network accounts after Sony was hacked back in 2011, resulting in an outage of the company’s online services as it assessed a hack that compromised every account on the service.

It’s good to be vigilant, and even if Nintendo’s situation wasn’t nearly of the same scale as Sony’s nine years ago, it’s likely to give some people pause when it comes to what information they’re willing to put on their Switch. It’s also pretty terrible timing, considering the uptick in interest in the system during the coronavirus pandemic, which resulted in the company raising its production projections for the next quarter by 10%. Would hate to hear that someone finally decided to make the jump and purchase a Switch only to be met with a situation like this in the first month. That’s certainly one way to really sour someone’s experience with the device if they associate it with getting hacked within the first month of owning the thing.

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Kenneth Shepard

Kenneth is a Georgia-based writer who still periodically cries about the Mass Effect trilogy years after it concluded.

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