Martin Ringlein never Netflix shared his password with everyone. So she was shocked to find out that strangers were using her account to watch movies and TV shows.

One of them was the person who bought his goods


said Mr. Ringlein about a year ago. Others were guests


Asheville, NC where he stayed weeks ago. Mr. Ringline had looked


in his car and on Airbnb, but he hadn’t logged out — and apparently strangers took advantage of that stupidity to delete his account.

“This is ridiculous,” Mr. Ringline, a Brooklyn venture capital investor, recalled thinking when he found out. “They were just watching the whole time.”

Netflix estimates that in addition to its 230 million paying subscribers, about 100 million people watch the service using someone else’s account. The streaming giant has largely given up on password sharing, but plans to start hacking soonbecause subscriber growth has slowed.

Getting subscribers to download moochers from their accounts is one way to cut the lowest hanging fruit. Netflix is ​​hoping that some of the people who were fired will sign up for their own accounts.

The company recently launched a tool that allows users to see where and when an account is accessed. The results can be as surprising as a plot twist in a Netflix series.

A stranger watched the show “CoComelon” on Martin Ringley’s Netflix account.


Netflix/Associated Press

Mr. Ringlein said that when he opened his new dashboard, he discovered that other people were using his account. She used her account to disconnect from her old Tesla and Airbnb, shows and movies her users said she would never watch, including the Lindsay Lohan Netflix movie “Falling for Christmas” and an episode of “CoComelon.” popular children’s show.

Luke Stronach, a 25-year-old charity worker in Glasgow, knew something was off when Netflix recommended a show about sex based on his viewing habits, despite saying he mainly watches shows like The Crown and It’s always sunny in Philadelphia.”

He checked his browsing history and found that someone had used his account to watch the movie How to Build a Sex Room.

He also noticed that his account name had been changed to “Flat 13A”. He thinks the new residents of the Strathclyde University hostel where he once lived and watched Netflix on the shared TV have come with a new name.

“Now I know it was pretty funny,” Mr. Stronach said. He changed his account name and changed his password.

Luke Stronach said above that he was watching ‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’ but a stranger was watching ‘How to Build a Sex Room’.


FX Networks/Everett Collection

In the coming weeks, Netflix will expand its pruning efforts and start forcing users who share their accounts with people outside their household to pay a little extra to keep doing so. Pricing is not yet detailed, and other restrictions on the total number of additional users allowed and their locations may be in the works. Only people living under the same roof as the account holder are safe.

Late last year, Netflix introduced a feature that allowed people to transfer a specific user’s profile, including their viewing history and watchlist, to a new account.

“Our job is to give them a little nudge and create features that make it easy and simple to switch to their account,” Netflix CEO Greg Peters said. The company said the new features give subscribers more control over their accounts.

The changes threaten to break many users’ password-sharing agreements between friends and family who don’t live together.

Estefany Dominguez, 23, of the Bronx, pays for Netflix and Hulu, while her sister pays for HBO Max. They share HBO Max with Ms. Dominguez’s boyfriend, who lets them both use his


+ account.

She said she would think hard about whether to pay more to continue sharing Netflix with her sister. “She’s a college student,” he said of his sister. “I’m inclined to say you deserve some fun.”

27-year-old Las Vegas resident Mitchell Condie watches Netflix using his sister’s account, which gives him access to her HBO Max account. Both share these accounts with their parents, who in turn pay for Hulu for the whole family.

The deal works smoothly, Mr. Condie said, because family members of the pact, who live in Utah, agreed years ago that everyone would pay the premium level of the respective streaming services so everyone could watch at the same time seamlessly.

Mr. Ringlein said Lindsay Lohan would never watch the Netflix movie “Falling for Christmas,” but a stranger looked into her account.


The Netflix/Everett Collection

Some subscribers can’t wait for the threats to start.

George Angel, 32, who lives in London, shared his Netflix account years ago with several friends and his father, who then shared it with Mr. Angel’s brother. He said he can’t watch Netflix as often now because so many people are already doing it. When she recently checked a new Netflix tool that shows where and when she’s logged in to her account, she noticed six devices logged in outside of hers.

“No wonder we can’t look,” he said.

Mr. Anghel said he recently turned down another friend who wanted Netflix credentials, but didn’t want to drive away family members and close friends who already use them.

“Somebody has to come and say no,” Mr. Angle said. “I think Netflix should say that because I’m paying them.”

write to Sarah Krouse at

Copyright ©2022 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All rights reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *