According to the cybersecurity organization ESET's survey, 60 percent of those who use media services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime or Spotify share their password with others.
However, this sharing can cause other problems that we have never anticipated. Jake Moore, ESET Security Researcher, explains in his review below why we should keep our Netflix password to ourselves.
If we were to ask you if you shared your email account password with someone else, you would probably say "absolutely no". But when it comes to media services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Spotify, password sharing is actually pretty common.
It may seem innocent, but if people use the password they use in media services for other accounts, it becomes alarmingly dangerous and the security risk of the accounts increases.
Aside from the way people share their media service accounts with their friends and family, it's also a question of what happens to the accounts when partners leave or friends stop talking to each other.
Survey attended by 2 thousand 700 people
To get to the bottom of the problem, we recently conducted a survey in the UK that got over 2 responses on Twitter, which gave us some insight into how people use their passwords.
What media service do they use?
First, we asked which media services they use. Not surprisingly, the two big services were Amazon Prime (50%) and Netflix (47%). YouTube TV followed with 28% and Spotify 23%.
60 percent shared with at least one person
Second, I asked if they shared their media service with anyone, and interestingly, 60 percent of people share their accounts with at least one person such as family members and friends. One in three account holders shares their services with two or more people.
How are passwords shared?
Next, we asked how these passwords were shared. Surprisingly, 21,5 percent of respondents said they said the password out loud. 8.1 percent sent the password via text or e-mail.
In this case, most people willingly gave their passwords to someone else, and often there is some kind of written record of this. This may not sound alarming when you know the other party with whom you share the password, but what if they pass it on to someone else? For example, does your child share family accounts with friends who are not lucky enough to have the media service everyone talks about at school?
Even more disturbing, we found that 14 percent of people used the same passwords for multiple accounts online. So their accounts have become easy targets for criminals. Even if the password is complex, reuse is a bad idea. Complex passwords are stronger against attacks that hackers use social engineering and open source research to determine your password. However, using your password anywhere else on the internet increases the risk of your account being compromised.