As reported by BBC News, Netflix is trialing a crackdown on password sharing. Some users have reported seeing a screen saying, “If you don’t live with the owner of this account, you need your own account to keep watching.”

A spokesperson told the BBC: “This test is designed to help ensure that people using Netflix accounts are authorised to do so.” A decision has yet to be made as to whether the company will roll this out across its network. In the trial, users can verify they are allowed to access the account by a code, sent via text or email.

Experts Comments

March 15, 2021
Jake Moore
Cybersecurity Specialist
ESET

If I were to ask people if they share their email account password with anyone else, the vast majority would probably say “absolutely no chance!”… but when it comes to media services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime and Spotify, such password sharing is actually quite common. It may sound innocent, but when people are using the same password for their media service that they use for other accounts, it starts to become dangerous, and the risk of account compromises increases.

 

We ran some research

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If I were to ask people if they share their email account password with anyone else, the vast majority would probably say “absolutely no chance!”… but when it comes to media services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime and Spotify, such password sharing is actually quite common. It may sound innocent, but when people are using the same password for their media service that they use for other accounts, it starts to become dangerous, and the risk of account compromises increases.

 

We ran some research that found that over a quarter of people surveyed had willingly given away their passwords to someone else. This may not sound worrying when you know the other party with whom you are sharing the password, with but what if they pass it on to someone without thinking?

 

However, it is unrealistic to expect that people are going to stop sharing their accounts completely, so my advice would be to regularly change your passwords in order to flush out anyone who has gained access over the last year who shouldn’t have. Creating complex passwords, combined with a password manager, will reduce your risk of compromise.

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