Netflix users are being urged to check who is using their account before the streaming service cracks down on password sharing later this year. Netflix has already been trialling the restrictions, which could see customers found to be sharing their account charged extra money on top of their subscription fee, in Peru, Costa Rica and Chile.
The changes are expected to be rolled out in the UK and the US soon, as the platform, which is up against streaming heavyweights such as Prime, Apple TV and Disney+ , battles with falling viewership. Netflix estimated around 100 million viewers are watching on shared accounts, which is costing the platform money.
People on the same plan who live in a different house will need to “use their own account” to access Netflix as part of the move, which means paying an extra fee for a shared account.
How do I see who is using my Netflix account?
Many Netflix customers share their passwords willingly, be it with children who have moved away for university or a friend who wants to watch a show you’ve recommended. Years ago, Netflix actually encouraged this - but has since changed its tune.
Sometimes though, users can forget who they’ve shared their password with, or it may have even been stolen. Whatever the case, there is a way to see who is using your Netflix account and a way to boot them out.
First, go to Netflix’s website, and sign into your account. Click your Profile in the top right corner of the screen > Account > Profile & Parenting Controls > Viewing Activity.
If someone is in fact using your account without your permission - or you simply don’t want weird recommendations anymore - there is a fix. Firstly, users can change their password.
Alternatively, customers can sign out of Netflix on all devices in their Settings. Head to Netflix, and sign into your account.
Then click on your Profile > Account > Security & Privacy > Manage Access and Devices > Sign out of the device you want or don’t recognise.
How does Netflix know if I’m sharing my password?
Netflix said that devices detected in other locations "may be blocked from watching” the streaming service. This is done by tracking IP addresses, device IDs and account activity.
If a device is logged into the account in a different location, Netflix will require a temporary code that lets users log in at that location for seven days. Those travelling with their ‘primary device’ - the device that is used for Netflix the most - will not have any issues in accessing content, Netflix said.
But users must make sure to connect to WiFi at their primary location at least once every 31 days to ensure uninterrupted access. "If a Netflix account is used by a device that is not associated with the primary account owner’s household, the device will need to be verified before it can be used to watch Netflix," the company said.