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Friday 25 May 2018

How to check if your Netflix account has been hacked - and how to fix it

The Netflix Inc. logo. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg
The Netflix Inc. logo. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Doug Bolton

Many Netflix users are worried about their account login information being sold on the Dark Web, or simply published for all to see on the internet, after a report by internet security company McAfee revealed the scale of the problem

In the report, entitled The Hidden Data Economy, McAfee pointed out that hackers sell access to a number of online services on the Dark Web, offering things like stolen credit card information, Netflix logins and loyalty scheme points, often for surprisingly small amounts of money.

It's worrying, but that's the reality of living on the internet. Fortunately, it's fairly easy to detect and fix your Netflix account if it has been hacked.

First, check your 'Recently Watched' section on the Netflix homepage - if there's shows and films on there that you haven't watched, then that could mean that someone else has been using your login information.

This is what happened to Motherboard writer Rachel Pick, who brought the Netflix issue to attention.

Even if everything seems normal, it's useful to double-check by typing your username or email address into haveibeenpwned.com - this site checks your details against a huge database of past leaks, including personal details from security breaches like the recent VTech and Ashley Madison leaks.

The site can then check whether your details have been leaked or not. However, it's still far from definitive, and your details could have still be leaked even if they return no matches.

For true peace of mind, visit the 'Account' page on Netflix, before scrolling down to 'Settings' and clicking 'Sign out of all devices'.

This will end all active sessions on any device your account is logged in on. After that, you can simply change your password and sign back in.

Netflix is the site which has made the headlines, but many others face the same sort of problems.

Most sites have a similar 'Sign out of all devices' or 'End all sessions' button, so using this in conjunction with sites like haveibeenpwned.com and changing your password is just good general security practice.

Given our increasing reliability on the internet, making sure all your data is secure is more and more important - so taking a few simple steps to put off hackers is a smart move.

(© Independent News Service)

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