I’ve read various articles about how Netflix account login credentials are posted online and people buy ’em to get free access. How can I tell if my Netflix account has been hacked?
It seems a bit inexplicable when your Netflix account is only $9.99/mo and anyone who gains access can’t really do much with it other than watch movies and TV shows, but yes, there are thousands of Netflix accounts available for purchase online, both through the dark net and even with just a simple Google search.
The best strategy is always to have a strong, unguessable password for your account and to never, ever share it. In addition, as I have learned, your well meaning children also need to be taught that they shouldn’t be sharing the family Netflix account, even with a best friend or significant other. We had an incident a few years ago where one of my kids shared our Netflix account info with a friend who was stuck in bed, sick. She then shared it with her friends and next thing I knew, I couldn’t watch Netflix because someone else was already watching the available stream. Not good!
To see if your Netflix account has been hacked, you’ll need to log in to the Netflix site by going to netflix.com. Type it in, don’t use my handy link, though, so you’re sure that’s where you’re logging in (ya never know, and skepticism is a healthy attribute when looking for info on the Web!)
Once logged in, click on your profile image on the top right to pull down the menu:
Choose the “Your Account” option near the bottom of the menu, and you’ll see tons of info and options. Near the bottom, there’s a section labeled “MY PROFILE”. From that list, you want to find and click on “Viewing activity“:
The result will be a list of what shows and movies you’ve watched recently. Mine is rather sparse as my kids use our Netflix account more than I do:
What you want to do here is look to see if there are any shows or movies that you didn’t watch showing up, an easy sign that someone else is using your account. Remember that each profile has its own “activity” list so check those too while you’re here.
Next step, click on “See recent account access” and it’ll show you a list of devices and IP addresses of how they accessed your Netflix account:
Didja see the anomaly on mine? On 12/16 at 11:27pm a computer accessed my Netflix account from Texas (TX) with the IP address 188.8.131.52. That’s not good! A quick lookup confirms its location too (do this in a separate window, just do a quick Google search for “ip lookup” to find a site that can produce this sort of data):
Kaufman, Texas is a little hole in the wall — population 6500 — outside of Dallas. Definitely not somewhere I’ve been, nor have any of my children been to Texas in the last 30 days either. The only important data point here is that the ISP is AT&T Mobility (aka AT&T Wireless), so it’s quite possible that it’s a mis-geolocated IP address. You see this sometimes when you are in a coffee shop using public wifi and a map lookup suggests your hundreds of miles away.
Still, time to log everyone out of my Netflix account and change the password again, I say. Easily done on the “Your Account” page under “SETTINGS”:
Simply click on “Sign out of all devices“. Then change your password and, yes, you’ll have to sign back in which is tedious, but I don’t want someone in Texas potentially leeching off my Netflix account and you shouldn’t allow strangers to use your account either!
Now you know how to check to see if your Netflix account has been hacked and what to do about it!