How do I protect my Netflix account?

Netflix has revolutionised the way we watch television and films. The on-demand internet streaming service boasts a remarkable 57.4 million users, and has just announced it’s expanding into virtually every country in the world.

But like any service that stores personal data or payment details, the service does have its risks. In 2015, digital security company McAfee revealed that Netflix hacks were resulting in personal information, including credit card details, being sold on the Dark Web in what they call a ‘hidden data economy’. As a consequence, people’s funds, loyalty points and their continued enjoyment of the site are being jeopardised.

Fortunately, there are ways to minimise the risk of being a Netflix hacking victim. Follow our top tips to make sure your account is as secure as possible.

Make sure you’re signing out properly

Leaving your account active can make it vulnerable, especially if you’ve been using a computer, smartphone or tablet connected to public Wi-Fi. When you’ve finished enjoying a Netflix movie or programme, make sure you click on the ‘sign out of all devices’ option. This can be accessed via the ‘account’ menu and by clicking ‘settings’.

Take note of anything unusual

A cool feature of Netflix is its memory system, keeping track of what you watch and making recommendations based on your entertainment taste. It also allows you to double-check whether someone else has been using your account.

By checking the ‘recently watched’ option, you’ll be able to see whether there are any programmes you’ve not watched on the list. Unless there’s someone out there with an identical taste in television (which, let’s face it, is pretty unlikely), you should be able to work out if you’ve been hacked.

Use a different password from your bank account!

If you use exactly the same login credentials on Netflix as your bank account, you’re potentially making a fraudster’s job easier for them. Make sure you use a different password and username combination – and change them regularly to minimise security risks. Remember that to be safest, you should use a different password for every online service you use.

As more of us sign up, scammers will see services like Netflix as a bigger target. But don’t let that spoil your enjoyment of the service, just take care how you use it.