Netflix is the biggest streaming service today with more than 150 million subscribers. In the first quarter of 2024, they added a little over 2.7 million subscribers. The numbers just keep growing every month. It’s just so addictive that once you start watching a show, it is hard to let it go and before you know it you’ve spent hours on end going through all the episodes already available.
The craze for Netflix is tremendous. However, while it is a great source of enjoyment, there are some elements that look to exploit viewers while they are busy going through the TV shows of their choice. As the movie or show plays in full screen, the internet connection is still active, and cybercriminals try to make use of the distraction to initiate data breaches.
In this article, we take a look at how you can keep yourself safe while streaming Netflix.
Watch Netflix securely in 4 easy steps
There are a number of steps that users can take while binge-watching movies or TV shows. First and foremost is to disable any information sharing like location etc. Disable cookies and before starting a session, make sure you clear your browsing history as well as internet cache. Once all this is done you can then begin streaming.
All these steps offer variable levels of security, but the most comprehensive solutions are offered by using a Netflix VPN. The Virtual Private Network works swiftly in the background making all data traffic from your device anonymous so that no hacker or authority can track it back to you. You should and could get a VPN like Ivacy and with software like that, you are able to enjoy Netflix with complete peace of mind and a sense of safety.
The rise of binge-watching and streaming services
Netflix is not a new service by any means. The company launched in 1997 and they started off by selling and renting DVDs. It is safe to say that the brand wasn’t doing too well for itself until the digital streaming craze took off and suddenly, Netflix became the undisputed king of its category. Binge-watching or streaming has only become a thing in the last couple of years but now it shows no signs of stopping any time soon.
It’s not just Netflix but a host of other services like Amazon Prime, Hulu, iPlayer and many more besides which make up the industry that is expected to be worth almost $125 billion by 2025. The annual growth rate for the market has been recorded at a steady 18% every year which is quite impressive. As time goes by, Netflix is only going to get stronger based on the demand from consumers across the globe.
Why Netflix is the most popular platform?
There are a number of factors that contribute to the popularity of Netflix. The most important is obviously the titles and collections that they offer. Netflix has a cache of more than 15,000 titles which include both movies and TV shows. Original productions are the driving force behind the rise of Netflix to the position where it is today.
Shows like Stranger Things, House of Cards, Hunger Games and Money Heist, to name a few, have contributed immensely to the growth of Netflix. The company continues to produce some exciting content and viewers can get access to this content at affordable rates. This ease and availability motivate users to opt for Netflix as the first streaming service of choice.
Be wary of what is lurking behind your favorite episode
Sadly though, all is not well and good. As much as you’d think there is no threat behind the full-screen viewership experience that you may be enjoying, we’re here to burst the bubble and tell you that there is. As you stream the episodes from your favorite shows, the active internet connection attracts a number of entities looking to spy on you and even cause harm in some ways.
Here are a few things which you may be susceptible to:
- ISP tracking: The local internet service providers know about each and every action you take while surfing the internet. They can tell which websites you visited, how long you were there and even the information you entered on that platform. They keep logs of this information and sell these to third parties for profit. Netflix viewership data on users can serve as great insights for profiling and while this may not be an issue for some, to others it is,
- Cybercrimes: The same public IP address that helps the ISP track you, is also detectable to hackers and other elements with malicious intent. These individuals or groups can use a variety of techniques to try and steal your private data and then use it to cause financial losses mostly.
All this can happen as you watch Netflix online and this is why it is imperative to protect yourself.
Using a VPN may be the best solution for watching Netflix safely, but it is crucial to choose a reliable service to protect your identity. VPN service providers themselves have been caught selling user information so it is up to the user to do their research and ascertain which one to choose.