Freeloaders beware — Netflix may start forcing you to get your own account

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Netflix Home (Image credit: Keegan Prosser/Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Some users that may be using a friend's password are reporting notices from Netflix to sign up for their own accounts.
  • The notice has appeared for some users, which offers a 30-day free trial to subscribe.
  • The notice appears to have been pushed to a small group of users and appears to be an upcoming security measure for the platform.

Netflix has a few plans that allow users to stream from either one or multiple devices simultaneously. Many people like to take advantage of this by granting access to their friends on a single Netflix account, and it's fairly simple to do once you know how to upgrade or downgrade your Netflix account. But the days of freeloading off your buddy's Netflix account might be numbered. While sharing passwords for the popular streaming service is common for many, some users have reported a notice appearing after logging into shared accounts, suggesting they open their own streaming account.

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The notice asks the user whether or not the account belongs to them, providing different ways to verify ownership. What's interesting is that these users are being offered a 30-day free trial, something the platform isn't particularly known to offer like some other streaming services with free trial deals.

So far, it doesn't seem to be a widespread occurrence, and users seem to get past this roadblock by selecting "verify later," which might save them from some awkward conversations with an ex. According to The Verge, a spokesperson from Netflix informed that "this test is designed to help ensure that people using Netflix accounts are authorized to do so." So many users may not have anything to worry about, but some may be out of luck if Netflix chooses to get serious about cracking down on shared accounts.

Netflix CEO, Reed Hastings, has previously spoken out on password sharing, noting that it's safe for households to do so.

Password sharing is something you have to learn to live with, because there's so much legitimate password sharing, like you sharing with your spouse, with your kids .... so there's no bright line, and we're doing fine as is.

Netflix seems to be trying to weed out any illegitimate account usage and ensuring user accounts are secure. The company already has measures to address users taking advantage of the best streaming VPNs to access restricted shows and movies. Given the scope of users with shared accounts, putting a foot down could end up giving the platform a boost in subscribers and revenue.

Derrek Lee
News Editor

Derrek is a long-time Nokia and LG fanboy who loves astronomy, videography, and sci-fi movies. When he's not working, he's most likely working out or smoldering at the camera.