Modern technology gives us many things.

Secure Streaming: Safety Tips to Help You Maintain Privacy Online

Streaming TV shows and movies has become a fun form of entertainment for many of us. The ability to pull out your laptop or switch on your TV and get right into where you left off with your favourite show can be comforting after a long day of work. 

But the convenience of streaming can come with its fair share of risks. That’s because streaming services use servers and network connections to help you stream media content. There’s a chance that your connection could be intercepted. And if you’re streaming your own video content to online audiences, you’re at an even greater risk of falling victim to cyberattacks.

To help, we’ll outline some of the top safety tips for streaming media content that can be useful for both viewers and streamers. Read on to learn more about how you can stream safely and securely.

Top Tips To Help You Stream Safely

Here are our top tips to help you stream movies and TV shows safely and securely.

Use a VPN to encrypt your network connection

VPNs (or ‘virtual private networks’) are cybersecurity tools that encrypt your network connection. This means third parties won’t be able to see your device location or other info about your connection. 

There are now VPNs suitable for all types of web users, including media streamers. You can even find a VPN for your FireStick or Google Chromecast. Using a VPN can also help you unlock region-restricted content or watch shows that are only available on US Netflix servers in Australia!

Use antivirus software to protect your streaming devices

If your streaming device picks up malware or ransomware, having antivirus software can help protect your data. Antivirus software will scan your device for malicious files and notify you of potential breaches.

This ensures that you don’t have to stay on high alert and can simply sit back and catch up on your favourite TV shows.

Only stream with secure streaming services

Although streaming services can be expensive, the subscription costs for these services don’t compare to the costs of being hit with a cyber attack. And according to the ACSC, the cost of cybercrime in Australia is only growing every year.

You can avoid becoming another statistic by sticking to reputable and secure streaming services. Say a firm goodbye to pirating or torrenting films and TV shows. It’s simply not worth it!

Use a password manager to secure your accounts

The worst thing about giving your Netflix password away is not being able to watch your shows due to high activity on your account. Now imagine if this happens to you and you haven’t even handed your password to anybody at all. 

This is what happens to streaming service users who don’t secure their accounts. Ideally, you want to change your account passwords every three months or even more frequently. And with 78% of Australians using the same password across multiple accounts, you’ll also want to swap out your pet names or favourite sports teams for a random string of numbers, letters, and symbols. 

Yes, using complicated passwords may make them harder to remember. But that’s what password management tools are for. Password managers can help you easily keep track of all your account passwords safely and securely.

Enable multi-factor authentication on your accounts

Alongside changing your passwords regularly, streaming service users are also encouraged to enable MFA on their accounts. MFA or 2FA (‘multi-factor’ or ‘two-factor authentication’) ensures that nobody can access your account using just your password alone. They will also typically need to secure a code sent to your mobile device via SMS text or to your email address.

MFA ensures that only those who access your account have the authority to do so.

Top Secure Streaming Tips for Gamers

Here are our top practical tips to make sure that your streaming or vlogging career can go off without any hacker-initiated hitches.

Think before you click

Do you ever see weird links being copy-pasted into the chat on your streaming channel? The best way to respond to these is to remove them immediately and flag the messages with your streaming platform. 

This is because links from insecure sources are more likely to be carriers of viruses or malware. Clicking on those links could infect your device with malicious software.

Use moderators to help monitor your chat

If you’re building up a larger audience on your streaming channels, moderation tools can help to keep your chat clean from stream to stream. You can use automated moderation tools or even enlist the support of trusted human moderators to monitor chat windows as you stream.

Manage your digital footprint

Even if you’re not sharing personal information on your streaming account, malicious parties can still learn a lot about you by looking at your digital footprint. So think carefully before you post about your birthday party on social media or share snaps of you holding your university degree with your full name clearly displayed. All of this information can be used by hackers to infiltrate your personal accounts.

Report abuse and scammers

If you experience any abuse or come across any potential scammers on your streaming channel, it’s essential that you report those figures straight away. Reporting these individuals to your streaming platform can help shut down any malevolent or fraudulent accounts. It’s also worth filing a formal report with the eSafety commissioner. That way, the incident will be formally logged as a cyber abuse case. 

Final Thoughts

Whilst streaming movies and TV shows or even watching gaming streams online can be a lot of fun, it’s still important to practice caution. By using the tips outlined above, you can maintain your privacy and protect your devices when streaming.