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Netflix: Privacy & other tricks you need to know

A few years back, Netflix was rumored to be testing out a "private" mode. Like a web browser's privacy mode, turning this on would let you watch a movie or TV show but Netflix wouldn't remember it. The idea was that you could watch a cheesy romantic comedy, a show with questionable content or something embarrassing to you without anyone else using the account knowing, or having it influence your future recommendations.

The privacy mode never actually made it to Netflix. However, Netflix does have tools you can use to keep your privacy when you're sharing an account. Plus, you can block recommendations from when you watch a movie you wished you hadn't.


First, let's talk about profiles, which aren't new but many people still don't use them. Netflix allows each account to have up to five individual profiles, which helps to keep recommendations, watch lists and more separate. Your kids or grandkids can watch as many cartoons as they want without making that the only thing you see in your recommended videos list.

To create new profiles, go to the Netflix home page and log in. Select your profile and then hover the mouse cursor over your username in the upper-right corner and select "Manage Accounts."

When you create a profile, you can select "Kids 12 & under." This only displays movies and videos PG-13 or TV-14 and lower in ratings. You can also choose more specific "little kids," "older kids" "teens" and "adults" to further restrict or allow content.

Of course, profiles aren't password protected so there's nothing to stop a child from switching over to another account. Instead, be sure to visit the Parental Control section for each non-child account to activate a PIN. This will keep anyone who doesn't know the PIN from watching content above a certain level.

It won't stop them from seeing what you've watched, however.

Next page: Another option for privacy
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