Sharing logins and passwords is something that most of us do, at least when it comes to the “harmless” stuff. Seventy-four percent of Americans share on-demand accounts like Hulu and Uber, while 34 percent of millennials share streaming content accounts, like Netflix and Amazon Prime.
Motherboard reports that despite online scandals and hacking paranoia, we still keep sharing these types of accounts. This makes sense, because sharing stuff with someone you’re close to is a sign of intimacy and friendship. There’s also peer pressure, which makes it hard to say no, especially with something as simple as Netflix.
While the risks are minimized when you know who you’re giving your password to, things tend to get more complicated with today’s sharing culture. How do you make sure that the password you’re giving out won’t be shared among other people? “I was pretty broke and didn’t have my own Netflix subscription — an ex gave me her login, which in turn came from a friend’s boyfriend. I used that guy’s Netflix for years before he got wise, or just cancelled his subscription,” an anonymous source tells Motherboard.
In terms of cybersecurity, reusing usernames and passwords is very common and problematic. The compromise of one silly account, like the Hotmail login you used when you were 15, could lead to problems with more important accounts, especially if they contain sensitive content such as your banking information.
To prevent this from happening, always use a password manager and be a little creative. Also, keep track of who has access to your accounts and check on your Netflix viewing history from time to time. If you see some random stuff there, then maybe you were hacked. Or maybe your friend gave your password to their friend.