Netflix’s new password sharing rule: How it affects college students


Netflix plans to end account sharing in the coming months. Phot via Deepak.

Adam Alexander, Social Media Manager

According to Netflix, they are ending free password or account sharing starting sometime before April 2023. The new way Netflix intends to limit password sharing is by limiting the sharing of a Netflix account to people who live in one household.


Netflix defines a household as, “people who live in the same location with the account owner.” These households are determined by using IP addresses, device IDs, and account activity. Basically if the account is being accessed from the same internet connection there will be no issues for using the account.


However, what about us college students or people who travel? Netflix has a new verification method to help stop password sharing. Verification will need to take place if the account is accessed from a device not associated with the main account or if it is accessed multiple times outside of the household. The steps to verify a device are as follows:


  1. Netflix sends a link to the email address or phone number associated with the primary account owner.
  2. The link opens a page with a 4-digit verification code.
  3. The code needs to be entered on the device that requested it within 15 minutes.
  4. If the code expires, you will need to request a new verification code from the device.
  5. Once successful, that device can be used to watch Netflix.
  6. Device verification may be required periodically.


Netflix suggests that if you do not live with the person associated with the account to just sign up for your own. This change in password sharing is an attempt, by Netflix, to create more subscriptions. However, according to a survey by the global investment banking firm Jefferies, 62% of people who currently share passwords would not start paying for Netflix.


I do believe Netflix overall will benefit from this move. Do I support it? No, but honestly this will not stop people from finding ways to get past their new system of preventing account sharing. As a college student, and as someone who has grown up with the internet my whole life, there are always ways around online restriction. For example, email sharing or Virtual Private Networks (VPN’s). Now I am not suggesting to use a VPN or email sharing. Using either method to get past Netflix’s new account sharing restrictions is illegal and a criminal offense according to the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.


I know that I for one will not be paying for my own Netflix account. Over the years I have found myself watching it less and less as they get rid of shows and movies that I enjoy. I personally do not use Netflix enough to justify my own account. But, I understand why Netflix is cracking down on account sharing. It is a smart financial move that will most likely gain profit. All in all, just be weary of the new policy and rules being pushed forward.

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