The Switch has been in the news a lot recently due to its coronavirus lockdown-related surge in popularity. But, now it’s in the news for a far less exciting reason: hacking attempts. It’s time to throw on some 2-Factor Authentication to your account if you haven’t already.
You can help secure your Nintendo Account by enabling 2-Step Verification.
— Nintendo of America (@NintendoAmerica) April 9, 2020
Someone is trying to flip the wrong switch
Over the past few weeks, several different Switch users across the net have taken to various social media websites to detail their experiences with alleged hackers. These users have had their accounts accessed/attempt-to-be-accessed by unknown sources. Nintendo’s website will show you a list of login attempts, which usually give the device type used as well as the location. Of course, login attempts from far-flung countries are an immediate red flag when the actual user themself has not been to/is in said country.
The best defense against such a thing happening to you is to switch up your account security settings.
- Enable 2-Factor Authentication — Also known as 2-Step Verification, this is a process that involves using your email address and mobile device in order to allow you to access your account. That way, it makes it far harder for someone else to get in since they would need both access to your email address and physical contact with your phone.
- Use a unique, secure password — This tip you’ve likely heard a hundred times before, but it’s worth repeating. Try to avoid using the same password for a variety of different sites/services, especially if it’s something fairly simple like a dictionary word. Also include a combination of letters, numbers and symbols for more effectiveness. So, rather than “ThisIsMyPassWord”, you can have “T1H51S3ypA$$W0Rd”. But, to make this even easier, try using a password manager. I’ve personally been using LastPass for the last several months. It’s free, works on all my devices, and generates unique, extremely complicated passwords on its own that you can just copy and paste. No, this isn’t a sponsorship—I’ve just gotten a whole lot of use out of it.
Now would also be a good time to review your Nintendo Account history, just to be safe. If you don’t feel confident, you can also unlink your payment info from the Switch eShop, so just in case your Nintendo Account does get compromised, at least a hacker will not be able to mess with your actual finances.
This latest “switchuation” seems to be a combination of bored hackers who are using their newfound free time due to the coronavirus lockdown along with a clear security hole in Nintendo’s networking infrastructure. In any event, take the steps to avoid being a victim.