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Do you ever get the feeling that someone is using your Netflix account? Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t streaming after you.
It turns out that passwords for Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, PlayStation Vue, and Sling are routinely stolen and sold online. For many people, this might just be a minor annoyance. If you use the same passwords on streaming services that you use to bank or protect sensitive information, you could have a real problem.
While it is likely that the initial password compromise came from malware placed on your computer, once thieves have one password, they will try it across various accounts.
It’s generally difficult to tell if your account has been compromised, as buyers are instructed not to change passwords, create new profiles, or otherwise change the appearance of the account.
Cord Cutters News has been following this beat for some time, and it has a few tips for finding out if your account has been compromised.
The fastest way to find out if someone is using your account is to check connected devices. Usually, you can remove unfamiliar devices and then change the password.
To avoid the headache altogether, be sure to keep your computer and phone up to date. Turning on automatic updates will minimize your risk. Updating your browser is also crucial.
And of course, the most important thing you can do is make sure that your banking passwords are different from your streaming password.
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Brenden Gallagher is a politics reporter and cultural commentator. His work has been published by Motherboard, Complex, and VH1. He’s the co-founder of Beer Money Films, an indie production company. Based in Los Angeles, he works in television drama as a writers assistant.