Netflix Hacked? How to Tell & What to Do About It

A few signs might tip you off that your Netflix account has been hacked. You might see unexpected viewing activity, get an email alerting you to a change in subscription level, or see an extra profile on the main screen. However, the situation isn’t always that clear. And you still have to solve the problem of someone else accessing your account.

With 73 million subscribers in the United States alone, Netflix is one of the most widely used streaming services on the planet. While Netflix data breaches involving compromised credentials are rare, the sheer number of users makes Netflix accounts prime targets for hackers. If you think your Netflix account was compromised, here’s how to tell if that’s the case and what to do about it.

How to Tell If Your Netflix Account Was Hacked

1. Log into Your Account

First, you’ll want to log into your account to confirm you have access. Some hackers may change your credentials once they get inside. If your password doesn’t work, attempt to reset it.

If your email isn’t showing valid, you can contact Netflix customer service for assistance. Similarly, if you log into your account, head to Account, and see a different email address other than yours under the Membership & Billing section, contact Netflix for assistance.

In many cases, a changed email on your account is a clear sign of a hack. As a result, you can proceed to the section on what to do if your Netflix account was hacked.

The need for a password reset may or may not signal a hack. If you use a password manager or otherwise are entirely sure the password you tried was correct, then it’s possible a hacker gained access and changed your password. However, if you have doubts, you may want to continue with the other checks before taking steps to correct a potential hack.

2. Review the Profiles List

When you initially log into Netflix, you’re usually presented with a screen that shows all of the associated profiles. Review the list to see if any of them are new or unfamiliar.

Anyone with the password could potentially add a profile, so this isn’t automatically suspicious if others have your credentials. However, if you aren’t sure where a profile came from, it’s a red flag that deserves more investigation.

3. Look Over the “Continue Watching” and “Watch It Again” Sections

The Continue Watching section on the Netflix main page lists shows and movies that were viewed recently but not completed. In the “Watch It Again” area, you’ll see movies and shows that were watched fully.

If you see any shows or movies in those sections you don’t recognize, it’s possible a hacker is using your account. Just keep in mind that nothing suspicious here doesn’t necessarily mean you weren’t hacked, as it’s possible to delete videos from these lines.

4. Check the Viewing Histories

By heading to Account and going to the Profile & Parental Controls section, you can hit a drop-down arrow next to each profile and find the Viewing Activity option. By viewing that information, you can see a list of recently watched shows and movies on that account. That gives you another way to spot potentially suspicious viewing activity even if the videos were removed from your Continue Watching or Watch It Again lists.

5. Check Recent Device Streaming Activity

By heading to Account and scrolling down to Settings, you can access the recent device streaming activity. While the information is a bit top level, it shows you the last time specific devices connected and their general location.

Usually, this helps you determine if your Netflix account was hacked by someone far outside of your physical area since the location data doesn’t drill down into individual cities. However, it’s still useful.

6. Look at Your Current Subscription

In some cases, hackers will update your subscription to boost the service level. They might transition you to an option with higher video quality or that allows multiple simultaneous viewers, for example.

Go to Account and look in the Plan Details section. It will show the name of your current plan, and if it’s different than what you previously chose, there’s a chance a hacker changed it.

However, a subscription change could also come from anyone you gave your login credentials to, as it only takes an email address and the password to make those changes. As a result, it’s possible another user made the change, so keep that in mind.

7. Check Your Email

Specific account changes may trigger automated emails from Netflix alerting you to the updates. Look for messages from Netflix that indicate your password was changed, email was updated, or subscription was changed. If you see any notifications, you can either contact Netflix customer service directly (not through links or phone numbers in the email, in case they’re phishing attempts) or use the steps below.

What to Do If Your Netflix Account Was Hacked

1. Disconnect Every Device

If you see anything suspicious when reviewing your Netflix account, go to the Account screen, head to Settings, and choose Sign out all devices. This disconnects every signed-in device, requiring you to sign in again to view anything through the Netflix account.

2. Change Your Password

After disconnecting the devices, change your Netflix password. You can update it using a browser or the Android app. Head to Account and go to the Membership & Billing section.

Choose Change Password, update the password, and make sure the option to “Require all devices to sign in again with new password” is checked. When choosing a new password, make sure it’s unique and strong. Finally, hit Save.

3. Consider Adding a PIN

Netflix doesn’t offer two-factor authentication, but there’s a feature that works similarly. By going to Account, Profile & Parental Controls, and Profile Lock, you can add a PIN that restricts viewing or profile creation. A person has to enter a PIN to watch videos, download content, or add new profiles, giving you some extra security.

Just be aware that anyone with the password can change the PIN settings. Additionally, not all devices will ask for the PIN. Still, it’s a step worth considering.

About the Author

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Catherine Reed

Catherine Reed is a writer and researcher with experience writing about a wide variety of topics including personal finance, technology, and staffing.