I can’t begin to count the number of people in my day-to-day life who share Netflix accounts with one another. The appeal is certainly nice--instead of paying full price for multiple accounts, you simply add another screen and pay a fraction of the cost. The same holds true for many other services like Spotify, Pandora, and you-name-it. What you may not realize is that by sharing accounts with others, even if you’d trust that person with your life, you’re putting your other accounts and your identity at risk. Did you know:
- More than 65% of people reuse passwords across multiple websites 1.
- Around 13% of people use the same password for every account they have 1.
- More than 81% of data breaches in 2020 have been caused by poor password security 1.
On what other sites do you use your Netflix password?
If you’re among the 65% of people surveyed who reuse passwords across multiple websites or, even worse, among the 13% who use the same password for every account they have, you’re giving access to more than just your Netflix account.
Of course, you’d never tell anyone they can use the same password to access your Facebook account. You trust them not to go snooping and what damage can they really do anyways? That’s not a risk I’m willing to take.
How much malware is on your friend’s computer?
If you’re reading this article, chances are that you care, at least a little bit, about your safety online. If the cost of a Netflix account is out of reach, what are the chances your friend pays for a quality browser protection program? How many browser hijackers have infected their computer? What browser add-ons do they use that can see everything they do online? How many of them include keyloggers? Is there a chance they browse malicious porn websites? You probably haven’t spoken to them about that.
As soon as they enter your Netflix login information, the cybercriminals behind any malware on their computer have your login information as well. While you might trust your friend not to go snooping on other websites where you use the same password, cybercriminals know no boundaries. They’ll start with your payment information on Netflix, move on to other websites with the same password, then your email account where they can easily reset the passwords for any other website you use.
No, I’m not going to give you my Netflix password.
Hopefully you already got the hint, but to make it clear: No, I’m not going to guy you my Netflix password and you shouldn’t give your password to others either. The risk to your personal information and potential for identity theft are simply too great. If you do (and every security expert would advise otherwise), at least make sure your friend has browser protection and you’re using a strong, unique password. And I don’t mean one that differs from your usual password by 1 or 2 characters.