Ever heard of subscription sharing platforms? They’re massively popular websites that allow people to share their subscriptions to premium services with each other. Netflix, Spotify, Hulu, you name it, you can share your accounts and save lots of cash!
Unfortunately, however, what a lot of people don’t realize is that these platforms present some truly serious security concerns.
How do subscription sharing sites work?
All you need to do is sign up for an account with an email address and some other personal data and you’re ready to split the cost of your subscription services with others. It might seem like a win-win situation for everyone, but the risks far outweigh the rewards.
Your personal data can be stolen
When you sign up for online subscription services, you need to enter a fair amount of personal data including your name, address, and credit card information. If this data were to fall into the wrong hands, it could have some serious negative ramifications. And therein lies the inherent risk in using subscription sharing platforms.
When you share an online account with others — meaning they know the correct email address and password to log into your account — they can access your personal information through your account’s settings. In doing so, you are making it very easy for somebody to steal your identity and freely commit all types of crimes, both online and offline, under your name.
If you were to share access to your VPN account with a cybercriminal, they could commit any number of cybercrimes, with much lower risk than normal. VPNs offer excellent online privacy protection, but if the authorities were able to trace the crimes to a perpetrator, it’s going to look like you were behind them! Even if you don’t have a VPN account, a cybercriminal could use your personal data to create a new one.
Also, by sharing your account details for one site, you give cybercriminals the opportunity to steal your login credentials for other sites. Using certain advanced tools they can do exactly that!
Stolen personal data can be used by cybercriminals in many ways:
- Identity theft.
- Targeted phishing attacks.
- Brute-force attacks to try and gain full access to online accounts.
- SIM swap attacks, which allow hackers to get around multi-factor authentication.
- Smishing attacks, which are used to trick victims into revealing additional personal information.
Don’t become a victim
Saving money here and there is something we all want to do, but it should not be done at the expense of serious risk of our personal data. Certain platforms have family plans and other legitimate sharing options. If you would like to split the cost of any of your subscription services, please see if those plans meet your needs and stay well away from any third-party subscription sharing sites.
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