Myths and Realities of Netflix Password Sharing


Just at a time when we find ourselves hunkered down at home bingeing on Netflix, the powers to be have decided to crack down on password sharing. As one of the world’s largest streaming services, boasting over 200 million subscribers worldwide, Netflix recently announced it will be testing a household verification feature designed to curb password sharing. Although Netflix contends the feature is intended to protect account owners from unauthorized users, in reality, the household verification feature means you may longer be able to share your account with a multitude of friends and relatives.


remote control pointing at Netflix screen
Bingeing on Netflix

Wondering if your account has been selected for the test group? If chosen, you will notice the following prompt during your login session - "If you don't live with the owner of this account, you need your own account to keep watching." Following this prompt users will have an option to receive a code by email or text to verify account ownership and continue watching. Folks unable to correctly enter the code will be invited to purchase their own Netflix membership.

In fairness to the streaming giant, the terms of service, which we probably agreed to without glancing at the fine print, state that your account may not be shared with individuals beyond your household. Historically, Netflix has turned a blind eye to a wide variety of communal accounts, despite evidence that approximately one-third of all account holders share passwords. However, change is in the air. This limited Netflix test is basically a form of two-tier authentication, and frankly best practice for your online accounts.

Unsure if freeloaders are covertly accessing your Netflix account? Consider a purge. From your account settings change your password and tick the “require all devices to sign in again with new password” option. For added security, go to the settings section, and select “sign out of all devices.” And finally, be prepared for late-night calls from friends and family seeking verification codes.


After all, sharing is caring.


Interested in learning more about two-tier authentication? Contact RW Networks Inc.