Netflix password sharing clamp-down could be pandemic bad news

Perhaps you share your Netflix password with a good friend or family member — if so, you're not the only one. It's a common trend for someone to sign up for a streaming service, then provide the login details to select others who may split the bill with them or make a different streaming service available in return. Regardless of the arrangement, Netflix doesn't like this, and now it is taking steps to make account sharing more inconvenient.

Presently, sharing a Netflix account with someone is as simple as sending that person your account's sign-in details. The only problem with this? They won't sign up for their own account as long as they have a free account to use. Netflix, it seems, is finally cracking down on password sharing, at least based on a new test.

As part of its terms of service, Netflix only allows users to share their passwords with people in their household. Enforcing the rule could be a bit tricky because there may be times you or someone else in your home may want to log into Netflix to watch a movie while traveling or otherwise away from home.

A new test, as first reported by The Streamable, is prompting users who sign into their account away from home to verify that it's their own by entering a verification code.

The screen includes a message noting that you must live with the owner of the Netflix account you're attempting to access and that if you don't, you can instead sign up for a free 30-day trial with your own account. Of course, this won't prevent accounts from being shared, but it will make it more inconvenient.

In order to get around the prompt, the person attempting to sign in will need to ask the account owner for the verification code, which is sent by text or email. The report claims this is a test currently limited to the Netflix TV apps; given that it's a test, the company may adjust the prompt in the future, scrap it for something else, or roll it out to other devices.