How to protect your Nintendo account from hackers with two-step verification (2SV)

Turn it on.

Graham Cluley @gcluley

How to protect your Nintendo account from hackers with two-step verification (2SV)

Sure, it’s for video-gaming – but you should still try to make your Nintendo account as hard as possible to hack.

Nintendo Switch owners can buy games online through the official eShop, and a hacker might try to purchase digital currencies for games such as Fortnite through a user’s linked PayPal account.

Nintendo, like many other companies, offers two-step verification (2SV) – sometimes known as two-factor authentication (read this if you want to know the difference) – to help users protect their online accounts.

Email Sign up to our newsletterSign up to Graham Cluley’s newsletter - "GCHQ"
Security news, advice, and tips.

If a website offers you the option of 2SV or 2FA protection, I strongly recommend that you enable it.

It’s just a good idea, like using unique, hard-to-crack passwords for different websites and storing your passwords securely in a password manager is a good idea. If you care about a jot about your online security I would recommend you do it.

So, how do you enable 2SV on your Nintendo account?

On your computer, sign in to your Nintendo account at https://accounts.nintendo.com

Go to Settings.

Choose Sign-In and Security Settings.

Nintendo settings

Scroll down to Two-Step Verification and click the Edit button.

You will be advised that enabling two-step verification will mean you will need to use both your password and a one-time passcode each time you want to access your account.

Click Enable two-step verification.

You will be asked to verify the email address you have connected to your Nintendo account. Nintendo sends a verification code to your email address, which you then need to enter.

Nintendo settings

Follow the instructions for installing and setting up an authentication app onto your smartphone. Nintendo suggests you use the Google Authenticator app, but other authentication apps are available from the official Android and iOS app stores.

With two-step verification now enabled, Nintendo displays a number of eight-digit backup codes that can be used if you are ever unable to use your authentication app.

Make a safe note of these if you’re worried you might need them one day – remember, your password isn’t enough to access your Nintendo account anymore!

Nintendo settings

Click to confirm that you have have saved your backup codes, then OK.

You’re all done!

Enabling this feature on your Nintendo account makes it much more difficult for a hacker to break in – even if they manage to steal or guess your password.

2sv prompt

Read more about two-step verification:

Found this article interesting? Follow Graham Cluley on Twitter to read more of the exclusive content we post.

Graham Cluley Graham Cluley is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s when he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and is an international public speaker on the topic of computer security, hackers, and online privacy. Follow him on Twitter at @gcluley, or drop him an email.