Sharing your Netflix password may seem harmless, but it comes with some danger.
You’ve most likely shared your Netflix account with someone else, or you may be the recipient of a shared Netflix password. And while this is convenient and a useful way to save money, sharing your Netflix password is a risky move from a security point of view.
Consider some security risks when sharing your Netflix password so you can make an informed decision about whether to do this.
It increases the risk of theft of your password
No matter who you share your password with, sharing increases the risk of it being compromised. Because now that you have two (or more, if you share it with multiple people) using a password, the attack surface will be wider.
For example, if someone using your Netflix password falls into a phishing email and enters your password into a fake website, they’ve revealed your password. Now your password is in the hands of the thief, although you are not a fraud.
This isn’t the only way attackers can steal Netflix passwords from others. Perhaps you provide your password to someone who accidentally has a keylogger on your computer or enters it into an unsafe network. This will leak your Netflix sign-in information —again by someone else and not you.
It’s hard to police everything that others do with your password. When kept to yourself, you don’t have to worry about others revealing it.
It is very dangerous if you use that password elsewhere
Although it is one of the worst password errors , many people continue to use the same password on many websites. The risk of this is that if the password is exposed due to a breach of a website, anyone who finds it will try the password on other sites using your email address. And if you’ve used it on sensitive accounts like your bank and email, you’ll be in a lot of trouble.
Combined with the increased vulnerability explained above, sharing your Netflix password when it resembles your bank password or other passwords is a bad idea. What if the person you share your password with knows your email and is curious about other places where you’ve used it?
Hopefully reliable people will not do this and you can eliminate a lot of risks using a single password everywhere. But it’s an increased threat if you’ve done it in this irresponsible way.
They can share your password with others
If you share your Netflix password with someone else, what prevents them from transferring it to someone else? Maybe you have a Premium plan and can watch Netflix on four screens at once, or maybe your friend does a deal with their room friend, where they take turns using your account.
You may feel perfectly fine sharing your password with others, but that person can pass your password on to some other person you don’t know. This increases the risk of that password being compromised.
You may be locked out of your own account
When you give someone your Netflix password, you don’t just allow them to watch content with your money. You are also providing them with the key to your entire account.
Using your current password, others can access your account settings and change your Netflix password to whatever they want. Checking the checkbox during this process will boot all existing users out of their Netflix accounts and require them to enter a new password. If they do this, you will be locked out of your own profile.
Thankfully, someone with your Netflix password can’t change the email associated with your account. To do this, you’ll have to confirm your payment information or enter a code sent to your current email address. This means that you can still reset your password using the link in the message sent to your email address, thus defeating someone else’s effort.
That’s of course, as long as your email password is not the same as the Netflix password you gave them.
Technically a violation of the rules
In early 2021, Netflix began warning people about password sharing , displaying a warning message about using accounts owned by people you don’t live with. This left many wondering if Netflix could start cracking password sharing.
Netflix’s terms and conditions state that you are not allowed to share your account with anyone outside your household. However, the company has taken a notoriously loose approach to this, going further to talk about accepting past practice.
You most likely won’t have serious trouble sharing your Netflix password. However, technically, password sharing is illegal under some laws. The state of Tennessee has a law that states it is illegal to share passwords for communications services. And the Computer Abuse and Fraud Act, enacted in 1986, can be understood as password sharing as a crime.
It is very unlikely that Netflix or the federal government will take any action against someone about password sharing. But it’s another sign of practice if you’re worried about something like this.
Consider sharing your Netflix password
What happens if you’ve read the above, understood the risks, and still want to share your Netflix password? There are some important considerations to draw from what we discussed.
The first is that you should set your Netflix password to unique.
Don’t set the same password as the one you use anywhere else. This will limit the leakage if the password is exposed in any way. We strongly recommend using a password manager to create and store passwords securely, if you haven’t one yet.
You should only share the password with someone you trust completely, such as your spouse or siblings. If you’ve ever been disappointed with that person, you should immediately change any passwords you’ve shared with them.
It’s important to consider the method you use to share your password. If you write it down on a piece of paper, the recipient can keep it, leading to some previously mentioned issues. If possible, it’s best to enter your own password on your device. That way, they can use your account without knowing your password.
Finally, you shouldn’t share your password via an unsafe medium like email, where it can be stolen during transmission. See how to securely share passwords with others for the most secure methods.
Consider your safety when sharing passwords
We’ve looked at the risks of sharing Netflix passwords. Keep them in mind the next time someone wants to use your Netflix account. There is nothing wrong with refusing a request to keep yourself safe.
And don’t forget that many of the same risks apply to other password sharing.