It’s almost impossible to not know about Fortnite, the gaming phenomenon that’s captivated 250 million players worldwide. Since 2017, players have been fighting to be the last man standing in this fast-paced survival game. But they should also be fighting to keep their account safe and secure. After all, having your Fortnite account hacked can erase years of game progress overnight.
In January of 2019, Epic Games, the maker of Fortnite, informed the public that a flaw in the game’s log-in system could have been an access point for hackers. The error allowed hackers to impersonate players, purchase in-game currency, and lock players out of their accounts.
Because hackers were able to make purchases and transfer the stolen virtual gear to different accounts, players weren’t always aware they had been hacked. When Epic Games broke the news about the hack, it wasn’t immediately clear just how many accounts had been affected.
Was Your Fortnite Account Hacked?
One important lesson to learn from the Fortnite’s game flaw is that notifications of potential breaches rarely go out right away. Check Point Research first discovered the flaw in November of 2018. While Fortnite did address the issue within a matter of weeks, it wasn’t until January that players were notified.
This means that it’s up to you to discover a hack as soon as possible. The most obvious sign of an attack is unauthorized charges to your linked credit card for V-Bucks or other game items. If you do notice suspicious activity, inform Epic Games and your financial institution immediately.
Other signs that point to a hack include altered personal information, missing game items, or an inability to sign into your account.
How to Protect Your Account
Fortnite’s game flaw opened the door to a unique type of hack. In most cases, hacked Fortnite accounts can be tracked back to fake websites. In these situations, players willingly enter credentials after being promised free gear or V-Bucks. Known as phishing, hackers lead their victims to these sites, where they then steal their login information.
But hacks related to the game flaw were more sophisticated. Hackers were able to send players links that, if clicked, would take their credential information without players having to type in their data.
Though more difficult, it is possible to protect yourself from more sophisticated attacks. Here are steps you can take today to protect your Fortnite profile and progress.
- Use a unique password – Using the same password across multiple sites makes it more likely that you’ll experience some type of hack, either with Fortnite or another service.
- Stay away from freebies – If you receive an email or message that directs you to a website offering free V-Bucks, weapons, tools, or outfits, think twice before going any further. If it sounds too good to be true, it most likely is, and instead of receiving free game items, you’ll be handing over the keys to your account.
- Keep your devices up to date – Computer and smartphone updates help boost security. Avoid playing Fortnite on a device you haven’t updated, and make sure to update the game as well. If updating your device all the time sounds tedious to you, you can always use the help of a software updater.
- Enable two-factor authentication – Epic Games does allow for two-factor authentication. Once enabled, you’ll know right away if someone else is trying to get into your account. Just go to your account settings and follow the steps in the “Password & Security” tab.
When it comes to keeping your account safe, additional security measures are a great first line of defense. But because it’s impossible to prevent every type of hack, make sure you remain vigilant and look out for suspicious activity.