Netflix, Prime Video, Disney+, and HBO Max are all great and popular streaming sites offering many movies and TV shows. Although these sites offer decent privacy and security measures, taking charge of your own security and privacy is always safer.
Streaming platforms collect a significant amount of user data, including viewing preferences, search history, and personal information. Like any other online service, they are also vulnerable to data breaches.
What’s even shocking is that some of these platforms have been found guilty of exploiting or misusing user data. An article published by the Financial Times in 2019 documented a case where Netflix, YouTube, Amazon, Spotify, and Apple breached the EU’s new data regulations.
And that’s only half the story. As a content creator who streams online, you also need to be careful when going about your business online. It’s important to keep your accounts secured regardless of the platform or service.
A while back, ‘Dr. Disrespect’, a popular Twitch streamer, caused ripples on the internet when he claimed that his house had been fired upon for two days running. Such privacy violation cases only show how dangerous it can be when data/ privacy breaches occur.
So it’s important to be mindful of your privacy and security when watching your favorite TV shows or streaming content yourself. In this article, we’ll highlight some of the top tips to secure your privacy when streaming online.
Choose a Secure Streaming Platform
Popular streaming platforms such as Netflix, Prime Video, and HBO Max are great for people who like watching movies and TV shows, as some strongly emphasize user privacy and data protection. However, you can take it further and access these platforms from secure browsers such as DuckDuckGo, known for its privacy-centric search engine.
You also want to stay clear of some streaming sites. While these sites are tempting with their promise of free access to a vast library of movies and TV shows, it’s essential to stop and think of the potential consequences that involve privacy and security.
Illegal streaming sites typically lack the privacy and data protection measures that deem a site ‘safe.’ They only focus on the media content and put little effort into user privacy and data collection.
This means that they can collect our information and sell it to third parties. In other words, you’ll be vulnerable to cybersecurity attacks when you use such sites. So, if you value your security and privacy, you’d do well to avoid such sites.
Protect Your Streaming Activity
For both online streamers and those who enjoy watching media online, you must safeguard your network and internet connection when streaming online. When we say protect your streaming activity, we mean you should use a secure and private network connection when streaming.
There are so many dangers that come with using a poorly secured connection. For example, it’s easier for cybercriminals to intercept your connection and steal your data when you’re using an unsecured connection to stream, such as public Wi-Fi.
There is a significant need to have a secure and private network connection when streaming online, as it allows you to preserve your online privacy while keeping your data safe. For this reason, we recommend using a VPN when streaming, as the best VPNs hide your online identity, location, or data while ensuring a secure and private internet connection.
Limit the Information You Share With Streaming Platforms
Be very careful about what you choose to disclose when steaming or creating other forms of content online. It’s important because it will help you protect your privacy, prevent targeted attacks, and preserve your mental well-being.
For instance, as a streamer, you should consider using a nickname or a false ‘pseudonym’ to protect your real identity. Go a step further and set up different email accounts for your streaming endeavors.
This also includes linking information about your identity, your address, and information about your home. Also, be sure to check if the settings on your photo have location metadata attached to them.
Managing Cookies and Tracking
As you may know, cookies and tracking are crucial in online streaming. They enhance the overall user experience and enable personalized content delivery by collecting valuable data about users’ preferences, browsing behavior, and online interactions.
However good they are, cookies and tracking affect user privacy. Cookies can track users over an extended period and, in the process, create comprehensive profiles of users. And the worst part is the underlying risk of data breaches that can expose your sensitive data.
Fortunately, there’s a way around cookies and unconsented tracking: ad blockers and privacy plugins. Ad blockers eliminate annoying ads that often contain hidden trackers and data collection scripts.
On the other hand, privacy plugins offer an extra layer of protection by blocking tracking technologies employed by websites and third-party services. Install these handy privacy tools on your streaming devices to boost your online security and privacy.
Keep Your Streaming Devices Updated With the Latest Software and Firmware
Like any other internet-connected device, streaming devices can be vulnerable to security breaches. Cybercriminals are constantly evolving and updating their techniques to bypass any advanced loopholes.
Fortunately, regular software and firmware updates ensure that your device is equipped with the latest security patches. This effectively safeguards your personal information and protects your streaming channel from potential cyber threats.
Don’t Just Click on Any Links From Your Email or Messages
Cybercriminals typically use emails and messages to send malicious links to streamers. These messages and emails look like harmless requests to click a link or download something.
However, these are what authorities call phishing attacks, as these links lead to harmful websites that may attempt to steal your personal information, install malware on your devices, or even compromise your streaming accounts. Because of this, be extremely careful about any messages, emails, or redirected links you get.
Use Strong Account Security
Ensure your streaming account is as secure as it can be. To achieve this:
- Start by paying close attention to your password. Make sure it’s strong using a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters with symbols and numbers.
- Avoid using the same password for different accounts.
- Whenever possible, enable two-factor authentication or multifactor authentication.
With cyber threats on the rise, it’s important that you take the necessary steps to ensure your safety and privacy as a streamer. The consequences of a privacy or data breach can be damning, as violence, identity theft, and fraud are all too common among streamers. Consider the tips listed in the article above if you want to have secure and private online streaming activities.