Streaming services like Netflix allow entire households to stream movies and TV shows over multiple devices via a single subscription, as long as they are logged in using the same credentials.
Netflix’s Standard Plan at R139 per month allows users to add up to five devices, while two simultaneous streams are permitted.
The Premium package allows for the same number of devices, but doubles the number of simultaneous streams to four, at a price of R169 per month.
Family and friends living in different locations, however, are also able to use a single Netflix subscription.
The practice has had a negative impact on the company’s business model – which encourages a Netflix account for every household – but is not disallowed.
Sharing credentials for a Netflix account can be risky, though, as using the incorrect channels to send them or providing it to a negligent person can leave you exposed.
MyBroadband asked Netflix how it protects its users from malicious actors and what best practice it recommends for keeping accounts secure.
Netflix and security
Netflix said it is actively rolling out on an ongoing basis additional protections that will help curb members accounts from being taken over.
“The Netflix security team also uses a variety of measures to protect our members, including monitoring various sites on the Internet for credential dumps where data thieves post stolen usernames and passwords,” the company said.
“We notify users to change their password when suspicious activity is detected. We also notify users when there is a sign-in to their account on a new device.”
The company said that using the same passwords across different services is risky, as the likelihood of having multiple accounts exposed increases when you use identical login information.
Top tips for securing your account
Netflix provided the following tips for keeping your account safe:
- Use a password unique to Netflix and change it periodically.
- Add a phone number to your account for additional security.
- Sign out of unused devices.
- Be aware of possible phishing attempts.
- Keep your computer safe.
- Report fraudulent or suspicious activity.
- Report security flaws.
For more detailed information on these tips, you can visit the Netflix Security page.
What to do if your account is compromised
If you see or suspect suspicious activity on your account, Netflix recommends contacting them immediately.
While removing unknown devices 0n the “Manage Devices” page of your account may kick an unauthorised user off, they would have had to gain access through your credentials, which means you should change your password
On Netflix, you can secure your account effectively by kicking off all devices currently linked to the account. This will require all users to once again log in with the new password.
To do this, make sure the primary account is selected and shown in the top right corner of your Netflix home screen. On a PC, move your cursor over to the profile picture and click on “Your Account.”
Select “Change password”, type in your current and new password and hit “Confirm new password”.
Then, check the “Require all devices to sign in again with new password” box to force the log out of all devices currently linked to the account.
If an unauthorised person has already changed the password and kicked your connected devices off the account, click the “Need Help?” option on the Netflix login page.
This will load the “Forgot Password/Email” feature, which you can use to have a link to reset your password sent to your email address or mobile number.
Clicking on this link allows you to change the password and log any unwelcome devices and users off your account.