Streaming platforms have irreversibly changed the way we consume media. Not having to deal with time slots and long commercial breaks anymore is worth it alone. Best of all, you can binge an entire season the moment it drops!
While fun, binge-watching isn’t without risks. We’ll leave ideas on physically healthy binge-watching to others. Instead, this article will give you seven easy tips on keeping your TV show or movie marathons going without worrying about your online security.
Avoid Suspicious Online Streaming Sites
Legitimate streaming services abound, but their costs can quickly rack up. Plus, there’s always that one show from your childhood none of them have. It’s tempting to visit one of the numerous free alternatives. There’s always a catch, however.
Proven streaming platforms take user security seriously and won’t annoy you with popups or fishy links. When choosing between safety and a few extra dollars every month, safety should always win out.
Use an Ad Blocker
We know some of you will continue to visit free streaming sites anyway. If you must, at least protect yourself by installing an ad blocker. Cyber crooks have figured out ways to place malware inside ads on websites.
You used to need to click on them to get infected – simply going to some websites is enough to do the same now. A blocker will keep the ads from loading and reduce the threat.
Connect Through a VPN
Binge-watching will suck up all your attention, leaving your connection free for hackers to exploit. Getting a virtual private network or VPN will stop them in their tracks. It’s especially useful if you regularly binge-watch from a coffee shop or any other location with an internet connection anyone can use.
The VPN hides your IP address, so neither your ISP nor anyone potentially keeping tabs on the network can figure out the real one. Many people multitask while watching their favorite shows, which may involve working on and sending sensitive files. A VPN will encrypt any files you send or receive, ensuring no one else can get a hold of them.
Since they can make your IP address appear as if coming from another country, VPNs are also practical for getting around streaming platforms’ geo-restrictions.
Keep Your Devices Updated
New malware, viruses, and other dangers flood the internet daily. Your device’s operating system comes with antimalware tools and receives regular updates.
Always apply these updates as soon as they’re available to keep on top of the latest threats.
Take Password Management Seriously
Password sharing is common practice streaming platforms are cracking down on. Giving your account details to family and trusted friends seems harmless. Yet, it can result in a serious security breach.
Many of us don’t bother to make our passwords complex and diverse enough. Someone can forward your streaming service password to others. These strangers may then succeed in accessing your other accounts if their passwords are the same or similar.
Don’t give your passwords to anyone. Moreover, have separate passwords that don’t contain identifiable information for each streaming account you use. No one can remember them all, let alone bother to change them regularly. That’s why you’ll want to use a password manager. These handy programs can instantly create as many unbreakable, strong passwords as you need, leaving you with a single master pass to remember.
Back Your Files Up, Just in Case
Phishing scams and malware attacks are getting bolder and cleverer. You may not fall for one, but your little brother, who uses the same device, might not know any better.
Saving backups of your most important files is a must, and cloud file storage is your best option. Storing files in the cloud protects you from accidentally deleting them or getting locked out due to ransomware.
Take Advantage of Streaming Platforms’ Download Options
Some sites let you download their content for later viewing, and no one can hack your device if you aren’t online! You can download all the episodes you need for a binge session from your home network and watch them offline if you’re on a trip or out with friends.
Not all services support this feature. You may even need to pay extra or only get access to low-resolution versions of their content this way. While that can be a hassle, it beats having to deal with compromised or choppy internet connections.
Rounding up some friends and taking in hours of eagerly awaited content is one of modern life’s simple pleasures. It’s important to do so responsibly, and now you know how.