Password Sharing & Cybersecurity Protection Guide

Passwords are essential. Protecting passwords is essential, too. Whether thinking about your streaming accounts or bank account, it’s crucial to keep yourself, and your data, safe from scams and malicious actors. Find out why you shouldn’t share them with others, and learn how to create passwords that will keep you and your data safer.

Sharing Passwords is Risky Business

You’ve paid good money subscribing to your favorite streaming services. So, what’s the harm in sharing a few passwords with family and friends? Turns out there’s a lot of risk involved in providing your Apple TV, Hulu, or Netflix password to even your most trusted companions.

Out of Hands, Out of ControlView Transcript

Access to Personal InformationView Transcript

Passwords & Personal Info Can Be SoldView Transcript

Reused PasswordsView Transcript

Tips to Protect Your Passwords (and Yourself)

Think about all the online accounts you have that include your personal or financial data. Whether it’s your favorite streaming service, an online store account, or a credit card site, each of these places include information you want to keep private. The entrances to these places are the passwords you use, which makes password security vitally important to staying safe online. Your passwords carry significant value to cybercriminals, which is why they’re constantly trying to figure them out. Here are seven tips to protect your passwords and keep your accounts safe and secure.

First Tip to Protect Your Passwords

Create unique “tough to crack” passwords

Common and easy-to-type passwords are more likely to be susceptible to credential stuffing attacks, which take place when a cybercriminal uses login info for one site on another, unrelated site. Creating unique passwords will help avoid credential stuffing and phishing attacks (sending fraudulent messages in hopes of the victim sharing private information or downloading malicious files).

Avoid words containing personal information

Names of your pets or family members, and numbers like addresses, phone numbers, or birthdays might be publicly accessible from forms you’ve filled out or posts you’ve made on your social media accounts. These are easy targets for hackers.

Incorporate symbols and numbers

Combine special characters with numbers and both upper and lowercase letters to ramp up the complexity of your password.

Create a complex and unique password using a secret code from a favorite phrase

Think of a line of movie dialogue, a song lyric, or a quote you like and convert it into a password, using the first letter from each word and also substituting some of the letters with numbers or special characters. For example, you could take the movie quote, “Fasten your seat belt, it’s going to be a bumpy night” and make the password, “Fy$BiG2b@bN.”

Password length – the longer the better

The longer your password, the harder it’ll be to crack. Good passwords are at least eight characters long, but strong passwords use ten or more characters.

Second Tip to Protect Your Passwords

Use different passwords for different accounts

If you use the same password for multiple accounts and hackers are able to acquire your password, they’ll be able to access all those accounts. Many sites and apps now provide a password generator when you create a new account that randomly creates a strong password.

Third Tip to Protect Your Passwords

Secure hard copies to keep your passwords safe

If you create a document containing a list of all your passwords, either hand write it or save it on a computer not connected to the outside world and keep the hard copy in a safe or locked cabinet. Leaving your piece of paper or sticky note with all your passwords right next to your computer makes it too easy for a family member or nosey team members to access your information.

Fourth Tip to Protect Your Passwords

Account holders should change passwords regularly

A good rule of thumb is to change passwords for accounts you access regularly at least once a quarter. Mark your calendar so you’ll know when it’s time to make changes.

Fifth Tip to Protect Your Passwords

Consider alternatives to creating your own passwords

There are other password protection options available if you prefer not to have to come up with your own passwords. Here are two:

Use a password manager

A password manager, or password vault, is a software application that generates unique, hard passwords and fills them in for you on your selected accounts. There are many password manager programs available, but here are a few examples: 1password, LastPass, Dashlane.

If available, use a “Bio” method

Many devices give you the option of using your fingerprint or face ID to log you in, and nothing is more unique than that.

Sixth Tip to Protect Your Passwords

Account sharing should only be done with people you trust (and establish ground rules)

Think of your password like your social security number. Who would you feel comfortable sharing that with?

If you do share your password, consider doing it via a password manager with “limited” rights to keep the password safe – the password will remain encrypted and no one else will be able to see the actual password text.

Before sharing passwords, make sure you and the people you’re going to share them with are on the same page about digital privacy and any further sharing.

If you’re planning to share your password with someone else so they can gain access to your streaming service account, like Netflix, Disney+, or Amazon Prime, first read the terms of service you agreed to and make sure you’re not breaking any rules. Plus, be aware that sharing passwords may put your own viewing access at risk since some services limit the number of devices and simultaneous streams. And remember: all streaming services know when unauthorized password sharing occurs. They can tell, for example, when users sign in to the same account from different IP addresses or locations and also what types of devices are being used.

Seventh Tip to Protect Your Passwords

Be wary of typing passwords, financial information, and personal data on devices or networks you don’t control

Keep in mind that when you enter your password on another person’s computer, it could be stored without your knowledge.

When using devices on public Wi-Fi, avoid visiting websites that require you to log into your account. Your unencrypted data is vulnerable in unsecured public networks and could be intercepted by a nearby hacker.

Many services today employ two-factor authentication, requiring two sources to allow access to their sites: a password and another trusted source, such as a mobile phone number. This is a good thing – even if a hacker discovers your password, they won’t have access to your other source. If you use one of these services, make sure to add an additional (third) backup source to the account, such as a second phone number or an email address so if, say, your phone gets lost, you’ll still be able to access the service.

Bottom line: Create strong and different passwords for each of your accounts, protect your passwords like you would your social security number, and avoid sharing passwords. If you are planning to share a password for an account, only share it with a trusted source and review the service agreement first to make sure you won’t be breaking it.

Even if you keep your passwords and devices secure, the various companies you have accounts with could still be breached. Always prepare for the worst and take every precaution.

On the Horizon: Passkeys

Support for passkeys is expected to be introduced by Apple and Google in 2022.  Passkeys will replace passwords with a biometric check  – a fingerprint check or facial recognition, for example – linked to digital data on your phone or PC. A passkey you set up for an app or site will be stored on the device you used to set it up. Services like Apple’s iCloud Keychain or Google’s Chrome password manager will be able to synchronize passkeys across your devices. But you won’t be able to access an account secured by passkey from a device that isn’t yours, like a public device or friend’s device, unless you also have your own device handy.

Keep Your Passwords and Personal Data Private

Login information out of your hands is out of your control. If the wrong people get it, they have access to any personal information in your profile. And if you use the same username and password for multiple sites and services, those accounts will be vulnerable, too.

The more people who know your username and passwords, the greater the risk.

Learn More About Password Sharing with StreamSafely

When it comes to sharing passwords with others, you need a solution that is both secure and convenient. StreamSafely offers users secure tools and knowledge about the dangers of using unlawful, unauthorized, or pirated websites and apps to watch television/streaming entertainment and movies. Take our quiz to learn more.

Test your knowledge with our password sharing quiz.

Video Transcripts 

Out of Hands, Out of ControlWatch Video

We have keys to our homes. Our Cars. Safe deposit boxes. Keys let us in and keep others out.

Passwords are digital keys. They protect what is ours. Things we’ve paid for. Our sensitive information.

To share your password is to lose control of your keys. They may be passed around.  Or copied.  Or sold online.

The point is, you don’t know. Protect your keys. Protect  what’s yours. Don’t share passwords.

Access to Personal InformationWatch Video

When you create an online account, you provide personal information. Often financial.  A credit card number.

And you trust that it’s kept secret and secure. Because you don’t want your information falling into the wrong hands.

When you share a password, you voluntarily expose your personal information. To whoever you share it with.

And whoever they share with. Friend or foe.

Protect yourself. Don’t share passwords.

Passwords & Personal Info Can Be SoldWatch Video

Account information is valuable. Usernames.  Email addresses. Passwords.

In demand on the internet’s black market.

It’s our job to protect our accounts. To safeguard our personal data; our financial information. To use effective cybersecurity.

Sharing passwords puts account information at risk. Expands the circle of people with access. Makes our accounts more vulnerable.

Keep your information off the black market. Protect yourself. Don’t share passwords.

Reused PasswordsWatch Video

We know it’s a bad idea to use the same password for multiple accounts.

If one password is stolen, they all are. If one account is compromised, they all are.

We know it’s a bad idea but many of us still do it. Which makes it even more important not to share passwords and login credentials.

Because if you reuse passwords, you’re not just sharing the one to this account. You’re also sharing the one to that account.

Which gives more access than you intend. And creates risk that you want to avoid.

Protect your accounts. Protect your information. Don’t share passwords.

Previous articleWhat You Need to Know About Malware
Next articleHow to Stream Anime