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Nintendo account hack FAQ: What happened, who’s at risk, and how you can secure your ID


Staff Writer,

PCWorld |

Since you’re probably playing a whole lot more Switch and 3DS games than usual these days, this hack couldn’t have come at a worse time. Nintendo has announced that more than 150,000 older accounts have been hacked and are warning users to change their accounts. Here’s what you need to know:

Hackers were able to obtain access to 160,000 Nintendo Network ID (NNID) login names and passwords.

It’s unclear exactly when the hack happened, but Nintendo says accounts have been compromised since the beginning of April.

Nintendo is notifying affected users via email, but only people with an older NNID account are at risk. However, even if you have a newer Nintendo Account for Switch, you may have linked it with your NNID to share eShop funds across the different systems.

Someone with your NNID username and password would be able to purchase digital items like games and Fortnite V-Bucks using your payment information if your NNIS account is linked to your Nintendo Account.

Nintendo is already resetting all passwords for affected accounts and has disabled the ability to use your NNID to log in to a Nintendo Account. Nintendo also recommends that all users turn on two-factor authentication to protect against unauthorized logins. If you haven’t received an email or a password reset alert, it’s probably a good idea to change your password anyway, just to be safe. Also if you’ve used your NNID password for any other account, you should change those too.

Strong, unique passwords for every site and service you use are a must in today’s online world. Our guide to the best password managers can help point you towards the best options for keeping track of all your far-flung credentials. 

This story, “Nintendo account hack FAQ: What happened, who’s at risk, and how you can secure your ID” was originally published by


Michael Simon covers all things mobile for PCWorld and Macworld. You can usually find him with his nose buried in a screen. The best way to yell at him is on Twitter.

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