Recently, a number of hacked Disney+ accounts have been popping up across the web according to numerous reports. What’s worse is that those hackers aren’t taking advantage of any vulnerabilities in Disney+, they are either logging into your account with the use of your credentials that might have leaked on other password breaches online or phishing your account.
So, if only one password is used on all of your accounts including Disney+, you’ve just put all of them in jeopardy. Cybercriminals will hack your accounts and will use it against you.
That is why we’ve listed some preventive measures to protect your Disney+ account from hackers. But, before that, let’s know more about the streaming platform first.
What is Disney+?
Similar Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV, and Netflix, Disney+ is also a video streaming app. It is a video-on-demand service that has a library full of TV shows and movies that can be watched by subscribers anytime and anywhere. This streaming platform is owned by Disney and was launched in November 2019.
Currently, the service is only available in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, The Netherlands, and the United States. On March 31, 2020, Disney+ will be launched in Germany, Italy, United Kingdom, Spain, and France.
Disney+ doesn’t have a lot of television shows and movies compared to Netflix. However, this will be the exclusive app for all of Disney’s archives of content. Other than that, this will be the only place where you’ll see The Mandalorian, which is the first live-action Star Wars series and all upcoming Marvel Studios content.
What devices does Disney+ support?
Disney+ will be available to a lot of platforms, including:
- Google Chromecast
- Android TV
- Apple TV
- Playstation 4
- Select Amazon Fire TV Services
- LG Smart TV
- Xbox One
- Samsung Smart TV
If you have one of the many streaming devices and smart TVs that feature the Apple TV app or you’re an Apple device owner, you can watch and subscribe to Disney+ within its all-in-one streaming interface. Other than that, Disney+ supports in-app purchases for Apple device users.
How much is the Disney+ subscription?
The service costs $70 per year or $7 per month. Unlike Netflix, which has a 30-day free trial, Disney+ only offers a 7-day free trial for those who want to try it. However, there are other streaming services owned by Disney. This large company controls Hulu and ESPN+, which offers a sports-focused service. You can get a bundle that includes Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+ for only $13 per month. You can take this as an advantage if you really want to try Disney+ because you will save $5 on this bundle.
You will still see some banner ads for Starz, but Disney+ programming is ad-free. Starz is the premium cable network that you will see on the login page. Disney reportedly signed some streaming rights for some of its owned movies to Starz. And reports say that the company has to give Starz something to get those movies on Disney+.
How cybercriminals hack Disney+ accounts
Now that we’ve gone through the basic information about Disney+, we will now address the issue that has been popping up across the web recently – hacked Disney+ accounts.
On some reports, Disney said that they haven’t seen any evidence of security breach on their servers. Other than that, the company also said that only a small percentage of subscribers have had their login credentials leaked or compromised.
But the big question is if the servers of Disney aren’t compromised, how are cybercriminals hacking thousands of Disney+ user accounts?
The problem actually lies in users who are reusing their passwords on all of their accounts. Your login details have probably leaked from other websites if you use the same password on multiple websites. Now, all the cybercriminal has to do is take your leaked or compromised login details and try to log it in on other websites.
For instance, you’re logging in with the username “email@example.com” and your password is “password123” on all your accounts. In the past few years, a lot of websites have already been breached. So, “firstname.lastname@example.org” and “password123” is probably two or more databases of credentials that leaked. You sign up using your usual password and email address when Disney+ launches. Cybercriminals try each leaked password and email address on different websites and on Disney+ so they can hack accounts.
Generally, that is how accounts get compromised but we don’t know for sure that this is how Disney+ accounts get hacked. Another cause for account breach would be a key-logging malware that usually runs in the background of your computer that gathers and captures login credentials. These end-user security problems might be the cause of hacked accounts and not a breach from the servers of Disney+.
How to Protect your Disney+ Account from Hackers
Here are some tips and tricks to protect your Disney+ account from hackers.
- Be careful with emails.
If there are any emails about billing or asking you to update one of your accounts, don’t open it immediately. Don’t click any links or attachments in it as well, especially if you don’t know who sent the link or you’re not expecting an email from that particular person.
Sometimes, email that contains malware looks legit and not suspicious, that is why you should go to the service itself and log in your credentials manually by typing the domain name on your browser. Never ever click links.
Most often than not, links can look official but the truth is that they will redirect you to a different website that might install malware and other viruses on your computer.
Since cord-cutting is becoming a trend and getting more popular nowadays, people who want to earn money quickly becomes the target. So, always be vigilant and careful what emails you receive and what passwords you use.
- Use two-factor authentication.
Unfortunately, most streaming devices don’t provide two-factor authentication. But, you should always activate 2FA on your social media accounts so that when a device is trying to log in on one of your accounts, you will be alerted via email and text message first.
The platform will also send a code on your device before a new device can log in to your account. This way, hackers who already have access to your password and username won’t open your account because they don’t have the code.
- Use different passwords.
You should create different passwords for each account to keep them secure. You might think that it’s hard to remember a lot of passwords, especially if you have multiple accounts but this is recommended. Besides, there are password managers available across the web to help you store passwords and create one, too.
On the other hand, you can also consider setting different levels of difficulties for different accounts if you don’t want to use a password manager. You will never fall victim to data breaches if your passwords are all different on each account.
Additional Tip: Use password managers
A password manager is like a book of all your passwords, which is locked by a master key. You’re the only one who knows this master key – no one else.
You might think that this is a bad idea. Someone might get your master password, right? It’s actually rational and reasonable to feel that way. But, if you create a very unique and strong master password that’s easy to remember, you will be able to protect your book of passwords and keep it out from hackers.
Other than storing your passwords securely, password managers will also help you create and save unique, strong passwords when you register or sign-up to new social media accounts or websites. In other words, when you log in on an app or a website, you just have to open your password manager, copy the password for that app or website, paste it on the log-in box, and you’ll access the app or website securely. Some password managers automatically fill in your log-in credentials, so you don’t have to copy and paste it into the log-in box. You just have to install extensions for this feature to work.
You can also take your passwords anywhere with you because you can install a password manager even on your phone or sync it across all your devices.
Our Recommended Password Managers
Using a password manager compared to other traditional methods will be the best option if you have a lot of passwords to remember. Yes, other ways can be trusted as well, but today, where hackers innovate together with all the security measures we have, it’s important to get the most secure method.
If you’re looking for the best password manager, we recommend trying LastPass and 1Password because they have strong encryption, specifically, support from AES-256. Even if you store your password manager in a cloud, it will still be protected because of the strong encryption support built on these two password managers. If you have the password manager app on your smartphone, laptop, computer, or tablet, then you will use a master password to open the password vault. Biometric authentication, such as Touch ID and Face Identification can also be used if you have an Apple device.
Both LastPass and 1Password say that they don’t know what your master password will be and they will never know. Even if they want to, they built their applications with zero access to the master password of the user. They both tested their applications and undergone code reviews and third-party audits. And until today, they haven’t experienced any serious breach. Other than that, both applications are transparent when it comes to how they protect all the passwords of their users.
However, if you want to store your passwords on your own servers or devices, you can also try to use open-source applications, such as KeePass and Bitwarden. For instance, between your devices, you can manually sync a KeePass database or set up your own sync server for Bitwarden. But, compared to LastPass and 1Password, using open-source applications are a bit more complex to use. Other than that, these apps aren’t user-friendly and you have to spend some time to set them up on your devices.