Cybersecurity, Emerging Issues in Security, Policies and Training

Sharing Your Netflix Account May Be Putting You at Risk of Getting Hacked

These days it’s considered the norm to share streaming services with many people. Whether it’s among family, friends, or coworkers, there’s no reason one person should pay for Netflix, Hulu, and Disney+ when it’s so easy to use someone else’s account, right?

Once you give out those login details, the problem is that you can’t control who else they are being shared with. What happens when your son’s ex-girlfriend’s best friend wants to watch the new true crime series everyone is talking about?

The scary part is that many people use similar or even the same password for their streaming accounts as they do for their private accounts. Furthermore, it wouldn’t take a genius to be able to “hack” into your online bank account when you’ve given them the password!

New Survey Finds That Many Americans Practice Unsafe Password Sharing When It Comes to Streaming Accounts

A survey from conducted in October 2022 aimed to find out exactly how widespread an issue this actually is among American streaming users.

26% Have Had Their Password Shared Without Their Permission

Of the total of 1,250 respondents, the survey found that 48% admit to sharing their streaming service password with at least one other person. The majority of respondents said they share a streaming password with just one or two people, but some admitted they’ve shared with as many as five or six people.

Most password-sharers say they gave their login details to family members, although nearly one-third have shared them with friends or romantic partners. Disturbingly, one in four say that someone they have shared their streaming password with has shared it with someone else without their permission.

52% Use the Same Password for Shared Streaming Services as for Private Accounts

It turns out that more than half of people (52%) who have shared a streaming service password say that this password is the same or similar to the passwords for their private accounts. 78% say they use the same password for their social media accounts. 56% use this password for their email, and 42% use it for their online banking.

1 in 10 Even Say They’ve Been ‘Hacked’ by Someone They’ve Shared a Streaming Service With

More than half of password-sharers from the survey (51%) say they believe that one or more of their private accounts has been hacked. And of this group, half say that they suspect their private account was hacked by someone they willingly shared a streaming password with.

3 Tips for Sharing Passwords Securely

The good news is that it’s actually pretty easy to avoid these pitfalls by following a few basic password safety protocols.

1. Don’t Share Passwords Unless You Have To

This tip is obvious, and perhaps more easily said than done. But think twice before giving out your passwords, even to non-sensitive accounts like streaming services. Netflix has announced plans to crack down on password sharing in 2023, so isn’t it about time your kids got their own accounts anyway?

2. Use a Password Management Service

These days, there are plenty of online tools that enable you to share passwords securely with multiple people. These tools are called password managers and they allow you to share login details with other people, without those people actually seeing what the login details are. Once login details have been shared, they log you into your accounts automatically.

3. Change Your Password Frequently

If you do want to share your password with others and don’t want to bother with a password manager, the least you can do is make sure to change your shared password frequently, about every three months to be safe.

This way, anyone who has gotten ahold of your login details without your knowledge will not be able to access your account. It’s also essential that you change your shared passwords to something completely different from the passwords you use for your private accounts.

Password security can seem like a pain, but survey results show that not taking this issue seriously can have serious consequences. Do yourself a favor and at the very least, change your shared passwords frequently and make them different from your online banking password.

Gunnar Kallstrom is a Cyber Security Professional and U.S. Army Veteran with an active Secret Security Clearance. He is well-versed in penetration testing using the rapid deployment of tools and exploitation techniques and has experience overseeing firewalls, IDPS, packet captures, security monitoring, malware analysis, and security automation. Most recently, Gunnar has been lending his expertise as a consultant for

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