From Academy Award-winning executive producers, the new Netflix cyber security documentary, Web of Make Believe: Death, Lies and the Internet, will drop tomorrow. The docu-series debuts a provocative set of stories about the world of technology and mind-bending machinations. But more on that later.

Right now, the more popular conversation topic is that strangers might be watching Stranger Things on your Netflix account.

Netflix account compromise

This month, a wave of Netflix watchers took to Twitter, commiserating on the misery of Netflix account hacks. Some said that their usernames and email addresses had been stolen. As a result, hackers managed to change account passwords and to create a snarl of account access issues.

In a few instances, hacker didn’t change passwords at all, but instead changed the selected language on the accounts, added new profiles and upgraded account types.

Suspicious account activity

Wondering about suspicious account activity on your Netflix account? Take a few minutes to review your account details. Here’s how:

1. If a new style or profile pops up…

Connect with your Netflix password sharers (spouse, children, family, friends) to determine whether or not anyone intentionally created a new profile. If not, delete the new profile and reset your account password.

In order to delete a profile, access Netflix on a web browser. Then, click on the profile icon and tap Manage Profiles. Select the intruding profile/s and click Delete.

2. If a new TV show is in the “Continue Watching” section

Should you unexpectedly notice a new genre in your ‘recommendations’ section or see a fresh ‘because you watched’ suggestion for something that you never watched, an unknown and unauthorized couch potato could be using your account.

Before panicking, inquire with your spouse, children or whomever else may share your Netflix login credentials. If no one has been binge watching the content in question, continue reviewing your account details.

For instance, try logging into your account on a web browser and navigating to your Account page. To see where, when and how people have been streaming from your Netflix account, go to Settings and click Recent Device Streaming Activity. A stranger on a couch in another city, state or country could be enjoying your Netflix subscription.

3. If unauthorized streaming continues…

If a stranger seems to continually access your account, take digital snapshots of the account activity info. For documentation purposes, capture the IP address, device and location. In cases of persistent unauthorized access, reach out to Netflix.

4. Monitor your billing statement

Chances are high that you have Netflix on auto-renewal. You likely don’t even bother looking at your billing statement every month. However, a glance at your statement can inform you about whether or not your account has experienced a hack.

For example, if you subscribe to the standard service for a fee of $15.50 per month and you observe charges for $20.00 per month, an unknown person might have upgraded your account without your permission. Ahead of taking further action, check in with children or those who you share your password with to ensure that they aren’t the culprits. If further action is warranted, contact Netflix and inform them of a possible account hack.

5. Change your password regularly

It’s generally a good idea to recycle your password every few months. This can prevent hacks. Just be sure to notify your household members or friends who have been invited to share the account so that they can keep watching Stranger Things or their other favorite shows and movies.


For more on the stranger things in cyber security, see CyberTalk.org’s past coverage. In addition, to receive cutting-edge cyber security news, exclusive interviews, detailed analyses and the latest security resources, please sign up for the CyberTalk.org newsletter.