While you may not view your Nintendo Account as a prime target for attacks, thanks to reports of fraudulent activity, the company is now urging you to secure your Nintendo Account by enabling two-factor authentication.
So, in this article, we are going to show you how to secure your Nintendo Account so that everything on your Switch stays safe. Note that most of these steps should be done using your computer or phone rather than the Switch itself.
1. How to activate two-factor authentication on your Nintendo Account
Two-factor authentication increases the security of your account by requiring a passcode from your phone in addition to your password to sign in. This greatly increases the security of your account.
To enable two-factor authentication (2FA), go to the Nintendo Account sign-in page and sign in with your username and password. Depending on your linked accounts, you may also be able to sign in with a Nintendo Network ID or social network account.
Once logged in, you will see your account settings. Click it Connection and security settings tab on the left, then find the Two-step validation settings header down. Click on Edit proceed.
On the resulting screen you will see Not yet defined under 2-step verification. Select the Set up two-step verification button to continue. The site will then ask you to verify your e-mail address; Click on Send an email if it’s correct.
If not, select User information in the left sidebar and click Edit beside E-mail adress to change it.
You will then receive an email from Nintendo with a verification code. Enter this code and click TP submit go forward.
Install a 2FA app on your phone
At this point, you will need to install an authenticator app on your phone if you are not already using one. Nintendo recommends Google Authenticator, but Authy is one of the best alternatives to Google Authenticator.
Authy works on multiple devices, so it’s easier to migrate if you get a new phone or lose yours. Additionally, you can install Authy on your computer for convenience, back up accounts to the cloud, and protect the app with a PIN code.
Install Authy for Android or iPhone. After opening it, you will need to enter your phone number to receive a confirmation code. Then you will be ready to add new accounts in Authy.
Faucet Add an account (which appears under the three dots menu top right on Android) followed by Scan the QR code. Use your phone’s camera to scan the code that appears in 2nd step on the Nintendo website.
If that doesn’t work, select Enter the code manually in Authy, expand it Manual entry option on the Nintendo page and enter this code to link the app.
You will then start to see the codes generated in Authy. Enter the current code in Step 3 on the website to confirm that everything is working correctly.
Finally, you will see several backup codes. These allow you to sign in to your Nintendo Account even if you can’t access your two-factor authentication method. It is important that you write them down or keep them in a safe place (start using a password manager if you haven’t already) so that you don’t get stuck on your account. Note that these are for single use only, but you can generate more if needed.
Using two-factor authentication
That’s all you need to do to set up two-factor authentication on your Nintendo Account. Now when you sign in on a new device, you will need to submit an Authy code after entering your password.
If you need to review your backup codes or want to turn off two-factor authentication, go back to the 2FA page above. To choose Examine backup codes to check yours or generate new ones, or Remove the settings to remove 2FA from your Nintendo Account.
2. How to change your Nintendo Account password
Two-factor authentication is vital to protecting your account, but it’s not the only step you need to take. It’s also important to set a strong password that you haven’t used anywhere else. It’s a good idea to change yours if you haven’t in a while.
To change your password, go to Connection and security settings again on your Nintendo Account page and click Edit beside Change Password. Enter your current password, then you will be prompted to enter a new one.
Unfortunately, the service limits you to 20 character passwords. We recommend that you use a password manager to create and store a strong password for your account.
3. How to view the connection history of your Nintendo Account
While you are strengthening the security of your Nintendo Account, you must ensure that no unauthorized devices are connected to it. On the Connection and security settings page, you will see a Login history section. Click on Seen to see all the details about it.
This shows you all the devices that have logged into your Nintendo Account in the last 30 days. Note that it counts each browser as a different device, so you can see what appear to be duplicates.
The location is unfortunately limited to the country, so it’s not particularly useful if you think someone in your area may have broken into your account. For more security, you can click on the Sign out of all devices link below the list to end all sessions.
If you sign out from all devices because you think someone has broken into your account, you should immediately change your password to prevent them from signing back in.
4. How to disconnect a PayPal account from your Nintendo Account
For convenience, you can link your PayPal account to your Nintendo Account. This allows you to fund purchases on the Nintendo Switch eShop through a PayPal payment method.
However, you should consider disabling it for security reasons. In April 2020, many people complained that bad actors broke into their Switch and used their PayPal account to spend hundreds of dollars on in-game items — usually V-Bucks in Fortnite.
Click it Shop menu on the left side of your Nintendo Account settings page to open a new tab with eShop preferences. Here you will see if you have a credit card or PayPal information saved to your account.
To choose Wipe off to delete a registered credit card, if you have one. Below you can Dissociate your PayPal account if you have already connected it.
Scroll down and select Purchase history to view recent transactions on your account if you want to check for criminal acts.
Pay on the eShop
After deleting all payment information saved for your account, you will need to enter your credit card number each time you make a purchase from the eShop. It’s impractical, but it will prevent anyone who breaks into your account from abusing your payment method.
If you have recurring charges associated with your account, such as a Nintendo Switch Online membership, you will need sufficient funds to automatically renew them. Your subscription will end if you do not have enough to cover the costs on the renewal date.
To add funds to your account without associating a payment method, you can purchase Nintendo eShop gift cards. These are available digitally with instant delivery on Amazon, as well as physically in supermarkets, drugstores, GameStop, and other retailers.
Secure your Nintendo Account
We’ve looked at a few easy ways to keep your Nintendo Account safe. There is little chance that someone will break into your account if you are using a secure password and 2FA, but it is always a good idea to take steps for maximum security.
Consider turning on alerts with your credit card company so you know immediately if someone is making an unauthorized debit on your account. And if you are the victim of fraud, you should contact Nintendo before contacting your credit card company. Some people have reported that Nintendo will not review cases already marked as fraud.
If you play on other systems as well, make sure you know how to enable two-factor authentication on all of your gaming accounts.
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Perform these quick checks on your Android phone to make sure your privacy and security are never compromised.
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