Disney+ and Netflix Account Hacks Are on the Rise: How to Secure Your Accounts
A month or two ago, you might have spent your evenings hanging out with your friends, going to the movies, dining out at your favorite restaurant, or watching a live show. Unfortunately, COVID-19 decided to change our daily habits, and millions of people are now left to their own devices when it comes to entertainment. Lucky for us, we can use video-chat tools to connect with our loved ones, we can still play video and board games, or even watch live gigs from the comfort of our favorite artists’ homes as many of them now try to support their fans with free entertainment. We also have the luxury of watching the latest TV shows and movies on a myriad of different platforms.
It’s clear, we are now turning to Netflix, Amazon Video, HBO, Disney+, and other platforms more than usual. For example, Disney+ recorded a growth by 21 million users just within 2 months. It now has more than 50 million users, which is not too shabby for a platform that was launched in November of last year. Netflix has more than 167 million users worldwide. The demand for videos-streaming services has been so high these past few months that streamers across the market have been downgrading the streaming quality just to keep up. Even social-networking platforms have had to take this measure. Well, the more users there are, the more users with weak security systems and weak passwords are likely to exist as well, and that is what cybercriminals have been exploiting very successfully.
How do hackers steal streaming platform account logins?
The main strength of cybercriminals is that they are inventive. Also, it helps that users continue to be careless. If that does not change, we will keep hearing stories about stolen Disney+ customer credentials, for example. In general, there are four main things that lead to hacked accounts: massive data breaches, malware, phishing scams, and weak passwords. Sadly, if you had your Netflix, Disney+, HBO, or another similar account hacked, there is a good chance that you could have prevented it.
Account hacked due to data breaches
If you had your account hacked because of a major data breach that the company handling your personal information was not able to secure, you have no blame in that, obviously. Unfortunately, even companies with endless resources get hit by data breaches, and the only thing you can do is respond to them appropriately. If you have your account hacked, you should quickly receive an email from the service provider with instructions on what to do next. Unfortunately, cybercriminals know this, and they have been known to create phishing emails that are set up to push users into resetting passwords and, in turn, disclosing them to the attackers even when no data breaches have occurred. This is why you have to keep up with news. Also, if you need to change a password, go to your account directly, and do not click on any links in emails.
Another important thing to do is to enable two-factor authentication as well as check for unauthorized logins. If you have to confirm access to your account with a code sent to your phone, and if you are notified when someone tries to log into your account from an unknown device or location, the attackers should be unable to get in even if Netflix, for example, accidentally leaks your login credentials.
Account hacked due to malware
When it comes to malware, there really is not much you can do without a strong security system in place. Even if you are always on your tiptoes to ensure that you do not visit unreliable and malicious websites, you cannot be 100% sure that you are safe. If you are one of those people who do not like to pay for streaming services, you are particularly vulnerable because free streaming services are ridden with malware. Visit an untrustworthy website once, and you have intrusive web cookies placed to spy on you. Also, if you interact with the ads that might pop up or the websites that you might be redirected to without permission, you could face malware directly without even realizing it.
Even if you do not stream or download movies/TV series/concerts/games/etc. illegally, clicking seemingly harmless links and email attachments, or downloading files from seemingly legitimate websites could all prove to be dangerous. Keyloggers, for example, are stealthy infections that can record passwords as you type them in. Needless to say, you do not want to be the kid with a candy taken right out of your mouth, and so if you do not want your passwords stolen and accounts hacked, you need to implement trusted anti-malware software to secure your systems and, at the same time, your accounts.
Account hacked due to phishing scams
As we mentioned already, cybercriminals are inventive, and they are smart too. That is an extremely dangerous combination. Unfortunately, if they can write a convincing message, and if they can also attach cleverly placed logos or even create misleadingly authentic-looking email addresses, they can trick you into doing anything. Phishing emails and messages sent via social-networking platforms or even to your mobile phone could be used to trick you into clicking malicious links. These could route you to websites that look identical to normal Netflix, Disney+, and other account login pages. Obviously, if you are tricked into “conforming your identity” or “resetting your password,” the attackers can take the information you reveal and quickly hijack your accounts. Unfortunately, stolen Disney+ customer credentials, for example, might lock users out completely, and it could be a real hassle to get the full control back.
So, how do you recognize phishing scams? First of all, you have to be mindful about anything that looks out of the ordinary. HBO, Amazon, Netflix, and other streamers would not ask you to disclose sensitive data via email or an SMS message. They also would not ask you to identify yourself via phone calls. We suggest checking this guide to learn exactly how to spot and avoid phishing scams.
Account hacked due to weak passwords
Finally, we reach passwords. In some cases, cybercriminals do not need to use clever scams and malware or attack companies to get to your passwords. In some cases, all they have to do is use the opportunities given to them. For example, in the event of a massive data breach, the attackers could obtain, let’s say, your Facebook password. Even if you update it right away to prevent having your account hacked, are other accounts safe? They are not if they are “protected” by the same password and email address combo. Email addresses are often used as account names, and they are extremely easy to obtain. Once the attacker has an email address, they can employ software and hardware to guess passwords across different platforms. This process is known and brute-forcing. Of course, it is easiest to guess passwords that are weak, and it is exponentially harder to guess passwords that are complex.
Due to this, you have to make sure that every single password you own is complex and unique. Your passwords have to be so difficult to guess that you could not remember them yourself. Well, how are you supposed to manage your accounts if you cannot remember complex 12-14 character-long passwords? That is what a trusted password manager is for. Download Cyclonis Password Manager today, and you will not need to generate, secure, type in, or even remember your passwords ever again.
Hopefully, if you had your Netflix or Disney+ customer credentials stolen, you have a way to get your account back immediately. If you need help getting back into your accounts, you should not hesitate to contact your service provider ASAP.