Video streaming has become just as popular in America as work itself. And its not just the US market that has grown exponentially. Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, BBC iPlayer and a plethora of other services have revolutionized the way content is viewed by users across the globe. Streaming is among the activities that take up a bulk of our time when online but sadly, there are serious threats lurking in the background that most people remain unaware of.
In this article we take a look at some of the risks involved in streaming movies or TV shows and the most effective ways to deal with them.
The rise of streaming services
The global streaming services market has exploded in recent years. It is expected to be worth more than $125 billion by 2025. Consumers in the US alone spend just as much time streaming videos as they do at work. According to a report from Deloitte, an average consumer spends 40 hours a week watching video content. Of this, 15 hours are spent on streaming services like Netflix.
Netflix by far is one of the most popular streaming service. 70% viewers are of the opinion that television doesn’t offer the quality of content which justifies a cable subscription. A lot of this has to do with the ability to choose from thousands of titles on demand, something that streaming services offer but conventional TV doesn’t.
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Trending shows and upcoming movies
Consumers are taking the phrase ‘Netflix and chill’ to new levels. Binge-watching has become one of the favorite hobbies and streaming services are doing their best to keep up with ever increasing demand. In 2019, shows like Game of Thrones and Stranger Things have received record viewership numbers. Brands like Netflix and Amazon Prime continue to produce and churn out content on regular basis.
If you have caught the bug for watching TV shows and movies on a consistent basis, you would surely be looking for some recommendations. BBC’s Peaky Blinders is one of the most trending shows that you should watch if you haven’t already. Other great options include Parks and Recreation, Sherlock, Breaking Bad, Black Mirror and Arrested Development to name a few.
Why streaming online is under threat
Since it consumes a majority of the time for users when they are online, streaming is an ideal thing to target for cybercriminals worldwide. It is difficult to find users in a more distracted state than when they are watching episodes from their favorite shows. Hackers pry on this vulnerability to take advantage of users and steal their private information.
This is what puts streaming online as one of the most high-risk activities in terms of cybercrime. You may be wondering how or what is happening behind the scenes that is leaking information? Well, you have a public IP address that is constantly visible on the network through which you are streaming. A hacker can pick this up quite easily and when they have, they can begin tracking all your data traffic with it.
Common risks that users face
Although websites like Netflix and Amazon Prime etc. don’t support many advertisements through which a hacker may gain access to your device but they do put your data traffic at risk of being logged and used without your permission. These records may be used for profiling and then spamming your email account with promotions you never asked for.
The real threat while streaming arises during the use of unsecure platforms. Many users go on Google, find streaming links for their favorite shows and begin to watch it without realizing that the website they are on, is essentially an open window for cybercriminals. Those ads which constantly popup in the middle of the stream, simply clicking on any one of them can infect your system and you wouldn’t even know about it.
How to protect yourself while watching movies
In light of the prevalent threats, a few steps are imperative to take while streaming online. For starters, make sure that any options which compromise your identity or location are turned off. This includes automatic sharing of information even with the website you are using to stream no matter how credible they are.
Another thing to avoid is cookies. These are bits of information that a website stores in your computer or smartphone’s memory so that frequently viewed pages load faster. However, by giving access to your device, you are putting yourself at risk. The most effective cybersecurity measure thus far is to use a VPN. These are all in one service that hide your IP address and make all data traffic anonymous.
With the use of a credible Netflix VPN, users can stay safe while streaming their favorite content. The Virtual Private Network works constantly in the background keeping all kinds of threats at bay. The by-default public IP address is what gives user location away. It is the source of all hacks that are carried out against individuals. A VPN plugs this leak by hiding your IP address behind a false one that leads to secure servers of the service provider.
It is important though that you pick a credible brand like Ivacy to protect yourself. For more information on Ivacy’s Netflix VPN, visit their website.