Unfortunately, any online account is susceptible to hacking, even your Nintendo account. Being hacked is never a pleasant experience, it is often scary, and no one likes having their privacy invaded. But your immediate action is always required in the event that your account does get hacked, especially if your payment information is linked to it.
If you feel like your Nintendo account may have been hacked, this is what you should do to secure your funds and do your best to prevent it from happening again in the future.
How to Tell if Your Nintendo Account Has Been Hacked
The security of your account is important to Nintendo, but hackers are incredibly crafty, and the worst can still happen. There are, however, security measures in place to inform account holders of anything suspicious that may be happening to their account.
These warnings come in the form of email notifications sent to your inbox. If you ever get an unexpected email from Nintendo notifying you of a device you don’t recognize signing in to your account, or a random email verification, that is a pretty good sign that someone somewhere is trying to access your account.
What to Do if Someone Has Hacked Your Nintendo Account
Getting these notifications is a great heads-up, but you do have to act quickly to secure your account before it’s too late. But where do you start? Here are the first things you should do if your Nintendo account has been compromised.
1. Change Your Nintendo Account Password
The very first thing you should do if you feel like the safety of your account might be at risk is log into your Nintendo account online and change your password. That way, if anyone has logged into your account on another device, they will get booted out and won’t be able to log back in again.
A great rule of thumb to use when coming up with a new password is to use a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols. The golden rule of passwords, however, is don’t use the same password for everything! Having to remember lots of different passwords can be difficult, but is definitely worthwhile. That way, if one account is breached, your hacker doesn’t have access to everything else as well.
If you’ve been hesitant to keep different passwords for everything because you’re worried about forgetting them, you can always create a password vault to help you keep track of everything.
2. Check Your eShop Purchase History
The eShop keeps a record of all your purchases. So if you feel like someone may have been sneaking around in your account, checking for any strange downloads is a great way to confirm your suspicions.
You can do this by opening up the eShop on your Nintendo Switch, pressing your user icon in the top-right corner, and visiting the Redownload section. That list contains information about all your purchases. If there is something you don’t recognize in there, contact Nintendo at support.nintendo.com and work on trying to get any fraudulent purchases refunded.
3. Contact Your Bank
If someone has been using your credit card information to purchase games and apps without your approval, your next port of call should be to contact your bank and suspend or cancel your card before any more money gets siphoned out of it.
That way, the next time the hacker tries to make a purchase, they will be out of luck, and the transaction will not go through. The bank you should contact will depend on your personal provider.
4. Sign Out of All Devices Associated With Your Nintendo Account
The next step to securing your Nintendo account is to sign out of all devices your account may be linked to. This includes your own Nintendo Switch, any old Switch consoles you may have, and any of your friends or family’s devices you may have signed in to in the past.
This can be done by logging into your Nintendo account online, so don’t stress if your friends live halfway across the country, and you can’t just pop over for a quick visit to sign out of their Nintendo Switch. To sign out of all devices online, head to your Account Settings, press Sign-in and security settings, and check your Sign-in history. Then press Sign out from all devices.
Your Sign-in history shows you every instance where your account signed in to a device in the past 30 days. This is another great tool to help you discover if something really is going on with your account.
5. Activate Two-Step Verification
Once you have successfully booted any or all hackers out of your Nintendo account, it’s a great idea to put some extra security measures in place to prevent this from happening again in the future.
One way to secure your Nintendo account is to activate two-step verification. This offers another layer of security and requires you to confirm your identity with more than just a simple username and password. Usually, it involves signing in to your email account to confirm your identity or sending a one-time code to your mobile device.
Two-step verification processes vary, but Nintendo uses the Google Authenticator app. You can download the app by logging into your Nintendo account online, heading to the Sign-in and security settings, and pressing the Edit button beside 2-Step Verification. That provides you with a QR code that will take you directly to the app. And don’t stop there, why not set up two-step verification on your PlayStation account and other devices as well, just to be safe.
Keep Your Identity and Your Nintendo Account Safe
Your Nintendo Switch is supposed to be a safe place that you can go to escape your daily problems, not a source of stress as you worry about your credit card information getting stolen. If you have any inkling whatsoever that something suspicious may be happening to your Nintendo account, don’t wait around for confirmation before doing any or all of these things. Changing your password and setting up two-step verification is easy and could potentially save you your life savings.
If your hacker breaks in and changes your password before you can, and you find yourself completely locked out of your account, contact Nintendo support immediately for assistance.