(Credit: Screenshot: Download.com/Tom McNamara)

Account hacking in Fortnite is a growing problem, with victims seeing hundreds of dollars in charges racked up on their credit cards out of the blue -- only to realize that they were tricked into giving away their login information, or someone guessed their password.

Fortnite's creator Epic Games has tried to fight against this by encouraging people to set up two-factor authentication (2FA) for their Fortnite account, and now its sweetening the deal by offering gamers a free Fortnite emote for their characters. "Boogie Down" is a dance emote, handy for getting your groove on while waiting for a match to start, or maybe to irritate an opponent you've just defeated.

SEE: How to play Fortnite Mobile and win: A guide for beginners

Two-factor authentication adds an additional layer of security by generating a temporary one-time code that you need to enter after you've entered your user name and password. Ideally, your code comes from an app rather than being sent to you via text message; text messages can be intercepted or just fail to arrive, while app-based 2FA codes are generated on a nearby device.

We highly recommend app-based 2FA for Fortnite, because being careful with what you download may not protect you all the time.

To enable 2FA on your account, first head over to the Epic Games website on a laptop or desktop PC and log into your account. Click on the Password & Security section on the left. Scroll down to the Two-Factor Authentication section and click the button labeled "Enable Authenticator App."

You'll need your phone handy for this next step. Unlock your phone, open your authenticator app, and tell it that you want to add another account. If you're using the Google Authenticator app (available for iOS as well as for Android), you do that by tapping the "+" button at the bottom and tapping on "Scan a barcode."

This will activate your phone's camera. Point it at the QR code on-screen. The app should see the QR code and automatically add it. Once it's done so, a message will briefly pop up saying "Secret added." The app will now start generating codes for this account, and the entry should show up at the bottom of the list, under "Epic Games." But we're not quite done yet.

SEE: Fortnite's deadly Android vulnerability: How to protect your device

Next, take the code the app generates and enter it on your laptop or desktop, where it says "Sign in with your security code," then press Activate. This will verify with Epic that you've properly set up Fortnite 2FA on your end.

Once you've activated 2FA, Epic will invite you to create some backup codes. These are designed to be printed out and kept in a safe place, in case you lose access to your authenticator.

If the "Enable Authenticator App" button is grayed out, that's probably because you have email authentication enabled already, and Epic doesn't let you do more than one 2FA method at once. If you want to switch to app-based 2FA (which we highly recommend), click the "Disable Email Authentication" button, click the Proceed button to confirm, then set up app-based 2FA as instructed above.

Bonus tip: If you have a lot of entries in Google Authenticator, you can re-arrange them alphabetically, or according to how frequently you access them, or however you like. Long-tap an entry, then you can slide it up and down through your list. To save your changes, just lift your finger off your phone's screen.

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Takeaways

  1. Epic Games is offering a free Fortnite emote if you enable app-based two-factor authentication, to help prevent people from stealing or secretly accessing your Fortnite account.
  2. You can set up 2FA for Fortnite on the Epic Games website.

Also see

Tom McNamara is a Senior Editor for CNET's Download.com. He mainly covers Windows, mobile and desktop security, games, Google, streaming services, and social media. Tom was also an editor at Maximum PC and IGN, and his work has appeared on CNET, PC Gamer, MSN.com, and Salon.com. He's also unreasonably proud that he's kept the same phone for more than two years.