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How to Protect Yourself When Using Movie Streaming Platforms

How to Protect Yourself When Using Movie Streaming Platforms

Now that you are hunkered at home to limit the spread of the virus, you may be looking for ways to entertain yourself. Registering to a streaming platform is an enjoyable way to spend time at home when you cannot meet your friends. It turns out that when you spend many months isolated at home, you can binge your way through every exciting TV series on a platform like Netflix. So, what should you do now that you have no movie to watch? Check the other streaming platforms because there are many out there (from giants like Prime, Hulu, and HBO Max, to SRF, BritBox, and Acorn that are geographically restricted to particular countries). 

It may surprise you to find out how many streaming services are available. Almost all of them offer free trial periods to help you determine if their content meets your needs. Cancel the subscription with the streaming services you don’t find interesting and keep the ones that engage you. 

However, make sure that when you entertain yourself with the latest TV series, you don’t forget to guard your personal info. They allow you to binge their video content without interruptions from advertisements, but it doesn’t mean you’re protected from risks. Most platforms don’t take many security measures to keep their users safe, and it’s your job to do it before you get lost in the TV series you watch. 

Share the account only with people you trust

Some streaming services like Netflix allow you to share the account with other users. If you offer your account details to one of your friends, they can also watch shows. But after you share the credentials with someone else, you no longer have full control over the account, and they can compromise it. 

If you want to share the account details with someone to split the bill, make sure they’re reliable individuals. Also, before providing them with the ID user and password, make sure you don’t use them for other platforms or accounts. Set unique credentials for the account you want to share with someone else, no matter how good a friend they are. If they decide to share the information with other people, they may use the data to hack into your email address. 

Netflix allows you to download your favorite TV shows and series so you can watch them even when you’re not connected to the Internet. This way you don’t have to use public Wi-Fi networks and expose your information. 

Stream only from reputable platforms

Streaming is a popular trend, especially since the pandemic forced the lockdown. People are streaming movies, TV shows, and music on their mobile devices and computers to entertain themselves. 

But hackers are taking advantage of people’s need to entertain themselves at home, and because not everyone affords to pay a subscription to a famous platform like HBO Max or Hulu, they end up looking for more affordable and less trustworthy options. And this is precisely where cyberthreats are lurking. 

When choosing the streaming platform, address the process as you’d do with going to a club. Would you venture to a new club no one has ever heard about alone? The answer is probably no, and it should also apply to your online activity. Malware can be embedded into any type of software, program, and document. When you browse for streaming services, consider the reputable ones like Netflix, Hulu, SRF, Pandora, and 123movies. Stay away from platforms no one has ever heard about because if you fail to protect your information, you can become the victim of a cybercriminal. 

Use a virtual private network

An effective method to protect your information while watching TV series on streaming platforms is to use a Virtual Private Network, which is a tool created to protect the privacy of Internet users and allow them to access geo-restricted content. When using a VPN, you get many advantages like encrypting data transfers, hiding your IP, and masking your current solution. If you live in Switzerland and enjoy using SRF but your job requires traveling you cannot watch your home streaming platform because it’s geo restricted. But you can trick the system if you use a VPN that unlocks SRF no matter where you access it from because it makes the server think you’re still at home.  

Supposing you use SRF with a VPN, you make it difficult for other users in the network to identify your real IP address. It’s ideal to use a VPN service when you stream content through a public Wi-Fi connection or when you try to access geo-restricted content. If a cybercriminal tries to scan your device, they won’t be able to track your IP address, and you can maintain your private information safely. 

Once you connect to a VPN, all your network traffic and data are encrypted. This means that the government, your Internet service provider, the SRF streaming platform, and any other third party won’t be able to see what you’re doing online. Instead of using the IP address your Internet service provider offers, you hide your Internet activity behind the IP the VPN provider offers. 

With some research, you can find the right VPN for your needs. Just make sure that you understand what features you need to filter the options and pick the best one. If you want to unlock the content, a local streaming platform like SRF provides, check the list of VPN providers that guarantee to allow you to access it. 

Optimize parental controls

Optimizing your streaming platform’s parental control is an effective way to prevent your children from watching sensitive content. How can you do it?

  • Access your account from one of the connected devices
  • Check your profile and find the parental Controls section
  • Create a PIN you want to associate with the sensitive content, and then select the age group for the restricted content
  • Save the change

Final thoughts

Cyberthreats aren’t limited to the world of big businesses; they can target everyone. The most frequent attacks aren’t massive data breaches but daily encounters with malware by regular Internet users. And because accessing the Internet makes you vulnerable to threats, you should do your best to keep your data secure and stop hackers from stealing your information. 

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