Are you a moocher? You’re not alone. A study found that 21 percent of young adults borrow passwords from people they do not live with to access streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, HBO Now, or Amazon Prime. Another study found that 35 percent of millennials are stealing or borrowing passwords. But what if you are the one being mooched off of? How do you know if someone is mooching off of your streaming service subscription and how do you stop it? Let’s find out how to rid your accounts of any freeloaders.
Maybe your ex-girlfriend still has your Netflix password and bingewatches Tidying Up With Marie Kondo even though you guys broke up a year ago. The mooching by ex-girlfriends isn’t the biggest risk, but rather your streaming service accounts could be compromised by hackers. Your accounts could be hacked by criminals attempting to steal your personal data or your credit card information linked to these accounts. If you see a suspicious IP address or device you should immediately utilize these steps to protect yourself. Here’s how to improve your cybersecurity by ridding yourself of all the streaming service moochers and potential hackers.
From the Netflix home screen, navigate to “Account” on the top right and go to “Viewing Activity” to see if there is content that you don’t recognize. Then go to “Recent Device Streaming Activity” to see a list of recent dates, times, IP addresses, locations, and types of devices that accessed your account. If you go to “Manage Download Devices” to see which devices are authorized to download content and that is also where you can also remove any devices that shouldn’t have these capabilities or “Sign out of all devices.” Now go back to “Account” and change your password.
From the Hulu home screen, go to your screen name at the top right and then click “Account.” That’s where you’ll be able to see every type of device linked to the account and the date it was added. Go to “Privacy and Settings” and then select “Protect Your Account.” That is where you will be given an option to sign out of all devices. Sign out of all devices and then go back to “Account” and change your password.
From the Prime Video home screen, select the “Menu” and then go to “Settings.” Select “Your Devices” and the page will provide a list of any devices that are connected to Amazon Prime Video. You can click “Deregister” to boot any device that you don’t want mooching off of you.
From the Spotify home screen, select “Profile” and then go to “Account.” From there go to “Account Overview” page and then select “Sign Out Everywhere.” Sign back in, go back to “Account” and click “Change Passwords.”
In 2014, Richard Plepler, who is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of HBO, said, “To us, it’s a terrific marketing vehicle for the next generation of viewers, and to us, it is actually not material at all to business growth.”
In the past, Netflix has gone public that subscribers sharing passwords is a positive. “We love people sharing Netflix,” CEO Reed Hastings said in 2017. “That’s a positive thing, not a negative thing.” However, $500 million is still $500 million and Netflix has Wall Street and investors to appease.
In early January at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, technology company Synamedia announced to the world that they had developed a software program that utilizes AI to track account activity of subscriptions to streaming services such as Netflix. If the artificial intelligence detects behavior that is unusual it flags the account. The software looks for activity such as signing in at a different address or watching content that is much different than previously watched. So to all the moochers out there, get ready to be booted one way or another in the near future.