Are you still obsessing over your ex? Have you been stalking their social media or watching old videos of your time together? You might want to put the tissue box away and think twice before queuing up that old rom-com you used to watch together. Because guess what? Their Netflix or Amazon Prime password could just be their secret weapon to harm you.
It sounds crazy, but it’s true. Streaming services have become the new battleground for ex-lovers, with individuals using their ex-partner’s account information to inflict harm either emotionally, financially or legally.
So, if you’re still using your ex-partner’s password, you might want to return their hoodie and cut all ties with them once and for all. Keep reading to find out why.
The Dangers of Sharing Your Streaming Passwords
You might think sharing your Netflix or Amazon Prime password with your ex doesn’t hurt anyone. But it does. Here’s how.
Sharing your streaming service account might not seem like a big deal, but it can end up hurting your wallet. With the rise of online streaming platforms, cable TV services are becoming obsolete. As such, many people rely on a single streaming platform for their entertainment needs. While most streaming services allow multiple profiles under one account, it doesn’t come without risks. If partners share their password and one person changes the login details without the other knowing, the other ex can lose access.
Karen and Tom have been dating for two years, and Tom is the primary account holder for Netflix. Their breakup is messy, and Karen tries to get back at Tom by changing their Netflix password without his knowledge. Tom, unable to watch his favorite shows or log in to his account, realizes he can’t recover his account without Karen’s help. Tom’s Netflix account also has a designated spot in his monthly budget, so he’s paying for a service that he’s unable to use.
Sharing a Netflix login might seem harmless, but using someone’s account to spy on them could land you in hot water. For instance, if one ex-partner uses the platform to track their past lover’s viewing habits or watch shows with sentimental value attached to their breakup, it can be a source of emotional distress.
Kelly and Jake break up, and Jake changes his Netflix password. Kelly begs Jake to allow her to keep using the account, and he reluctantly shares the password. As time passes, Jake is in a new relationship, but Kelly continues to use the account. She obsessively watches everything Jake has watched on the account, tracking his viewing habits through the ‘continue watching’ feature. Jake is disturbed when he sees that Kelly is watching episodes of “The Bachelor” that they used to watch together.
A Psychology Today article on the subject of ex stalking reports that over 50% of individuals that engage in cyberstalking are ex-partners who use information and online activity to control or harm their ex.
Sharing credentials to streaming services is not a crime. However, it’s still an issue that many streaming services like Netflix and Amazon take very seriously. When someone uses another person’s login details without the other person’s agreement, it’s called “social engineering” or “credential sharing,” which goes against the streaming platform’s terms and conditions.
Emma and Mark broke up, and Emma changed her Netflix password. After several attempts to log in, Mark sends a message to customer support falsely claiming that he has forgotten his password. They ask him several personal questions, which he googles and answers. The support team believing him to be Emma sends him a link to reset the password. Mark can now access Emma’s account. Emma, finding out about what Mark had done, decides to take legal action against him.
When it comes to streaming services, changing account passwords is usually straightforward, but if your ex uses your credentials without your consent to harass you or even watch your personal information, there’s probably a good case for legal action. So it’s essential to protect yourself when sharing your credentials with someone else.
How to Protect Yourself?
The simplest way to protect yourself is to delete all shared accounts immediately.
However, when cutting ties with someone you care about, it might not be easy to sever all communication. The temptation to continue sharing credentials might be too much to resist. Therefore, we suggest taking the following steps to keep your shared account secure:
Change the Password
If you can’t resist sharing your Netflix or Amazon Prime account with your ex or just don’t want to deal with the hassle of cutting all communication, change your login information immediately. That way, they’ll be locked out of your account and unable to harm or affect you in any way.
Sign Out of All Devices
Sometimes, even a password change might not be enough to prevent someone from accessing your account. Suppose your ex-app has automatic login enabled, and they still have devices with instant access, then they might still cause harm. Therefore, we suggest signing out of all devices to ensure that your ex can’t automatically log in to your account.
Enable Two-Factor Authentication
If you’re still worried, you can enable two-factor authentication to keep your account even more secure. This way, if someone tries to log in to your account using your credentials, you get a notification of the attempt on your device.
So there you have it, folks! Streaming trouble is real, and it’s costing people money, emotional damage, and legal trouble. Don’t let your heartbreak turn into a crime or debt. Cut off your ties with your ex and take the necessary steps to protect yourself from this new age weapon of ex-partners.
Remember that it’s essential to prioritize protecting yourself and your identity online. So before you share your login credentials with someone else, give it some thought. It might seem harmless, but it could cost you in more ways than you know.
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- Mitra, Anandita. “Why Sharing of Streaming Accounts Is Serious Business” New York Times, 11 January 2021.
- Mullen, Laurie. “Cyberstalking Your Ex on Social Media: A Four-Step Guide to Protecting Yourself” Psychology Today, 12 February 2020.