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Security & privacy

Netflix scam: This symbol means someone has stolen your account

Businesses may be suffering under the COVID-19 pandemic, but Netflix certainly isn’t one of them. With so many people indoors for months at a time, the platform has seen its overall usage skyrocket.

Because of this, scammers and hackers of the world are targeting Netflix users as part of their widespread phishing campaigns. The goal: Steal login information and potentially sell it on the Dark Web. Tap or click here to find out more about phishing attacks on Netflix and Zoom.

Not everyone who hacks or steals a Netflix account will sell it, however. Some are perfectly content just kicking back and using the ill-gotten account to binge-watch for free. And to avoid detection, they’re pulling a sneaky trick so nobody knows what they’re doing. Here’s how you can spot if your Netflix account is being hijacked and leeched.

Is this a Netflix update? Nope!

Users on social media are keen on sharing their experiences with cybersecurity issues, but this one is just too strange and hilarious to ignore.

In a viral tweet, user @yellowgengar2 described his shock at discovering his brother’s ex-girlfriend had been stealthily using his Netflix account without his knowledge. She accomplished this by creating an additional user account labeled “Settings,” and giving it a generic icon so nobody would be the wiser.

In a hilarious twist, the ex-girlfriend responded to the tweet with a statement of gratitude that the user didn’t change his password after finding out.

But this user isn’t the only one experiencing this unusual trick. If you have a Netflix account of your own, take a moment to check your users and make sure you don’t have one named Settings on your list.

If you do, don’t worry: There’s a way to kick them off.

How can I remove someone who is leeching off my Netflix account?

If you’ve confirmed an uninvited guest is using your Netflix account, there’s an easy way to boot them off your list of users. Here’s how:

  1. Open Netflix on a computer and click on the profile icon on the top right of the Netflix homepage.
  2. Choose Account and scroll down to the Settings menu that appears.
  3. Locate an option called Sign out of All Devices. Confirm that you’re sure when you’re ready and click Sign Out.

This will kick all accounts off of all devices using Netflix. This is only the first step, however. Next, you’ll need to actually change your password so the intruder can’t get back in:

  1. On a computer, tap or click here to visit Netflix’s password reset page. Don’t log in normally, since this will sign the intruder back in as well. The page linked above is for forgotten passwords, which allows you to reset without logging in.
  2. Confirm your account email address or phone number and wait for the verification message.
  3. Verify your account and enter a new password. Make sure it’s different from before, and try to generate something the intruder won’t easily guess. Tap or click here to see how you can make stronger passwords.

And for good measure, we’d also say it’s worth changing the password on any other online accounts that share the same login combination you used for Netflix. You can’t be too careful, especially with so many phishing scams on the rise these days. Tap or click here to see why there has been such an enormous spike in these attacks.

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