The Cybersecurity Risks of Online Streaming


Streaming services have an ever-increasing user base. The pandemic led to a huge rise in their usage. With the passage of time, this rise hasn’t abated. Streaming platforms are also loved by another set of people, not necessarily for the same reason as average users. We are referring to cybercriminals.

They exploit these platforms to carry out malicious activities, such as streaming personal information or injecting the user’s device with malware. Most streaming websites require users to create an account and register. To do so, users input their personal data, which cybercriminals then use to hack their accounts or perform other such activities.

Even the biggest streaming platforms are vulnerable to online threats. Let’s take a closer look into the real cybersecurity risks of online streaming.

Staying Safe While Using Free Streaming Apps

Cybersecurity issues are common among every type of app, whether paid or free. However, paid apps tend to prove expensive for many individuals. Hence, they use the plethora of streaming websites and channels that give them access to content for free.

Some of the most popular free streaming services include Freevee, Tubi, Crackle, and Pluto TV. Besides them, streaming enthusiasts also use Kodi addons and builds to access and stream content for free. Notably, exploring a list of popular builds for Kodi reveals several options, including free movies, live channels, sports, and more. Consequently, a greater number of people use them for streaming.

However, when accessing free apps and websites, you must remember that the content on them is not copyrighted. Cybercriminals use these free streaming mediums to target individuals. That is why it is crucial to have protection while using them. Using a VPN is a must to prevent you from becoming an attacker’s victim. Besides, you must also use other security measures. These include the usage of a firewall and good antivirus software.

Cybersecurity Threats Related to Online Streaming

Everyone loves streaming their favorite content. However, if you do not remain vigilant, falling prey to cyberattacks is easy. Here are some of the most common cybersecurity threats related to online streaming.

Unauthorized Access

The risk of unauthorized access by a hacker into your streaming account is very high. It is also known as credential stuffing. Cybercriminals mainly steal the huge database of user credentials. Once they have it, they use it to access their accounts.

Hackers can do anything after getting your credentials. They can exploit it for malicious activities. Worse, they can even sell it on the dark web. There is a common reason that makes people more vulnerable to the risk of unauthorized access. It is the use of the same password and username for different applications. If a hacker gains access to one of your account’s credentials, they will have an easy time gaining access to your other accounts.

To avoid this, it is recommended that you use two-factor authentication. It ensures that even if the hacker gains access to one of your accounts, they will need to enter a unique code. This code is sent to a mobile or email number that you trust. Thus, it becomes extremely challenging for cybercriminals to do anything with just their credentials.

Phishing Attacks

Phishing attacks or scams have become widespread. They can be easily orchestrated by modern cybercriminals. To carry out a phishing scam, the threat actor creates a website that mimics the official streaming platform. Then they send an email to their target to sign up for it. This email is usually sent through social media platforms A direct message to the target.

This is a phishing email that will contain a link to the malicious website. We strongly advise you not to click on any such unknown links. If you do happen to click on them, you will be directed to a website that looks and feels the same as an official streaming website. Here, you are made to enter your credentials by creating an account.

Once you supply your credentials, that is all the criminal needs to carry out their malicious activities. They can use your personal data to access your financial information. This includes your bank or credit card data. Phishing scams are extremely hard to detect. It’s because the fake websites or messages look fully real. The only way to protect yourself from them is to read every message or email that you get with caution. Even if there’s the slightest hint of its genuineness in your mind, do not take action.

Brute Force Attack

Brute force attacks occur when the hacker is able to guess your username and password. To do so, they use advanced tools. Many users who have a weak password make it easy for the hacker to launch a brute force attack. The easier your password is, the more quickly it can be identified by the cybercriminal.

Modern streaming platforms are aware of the prevalence of this attack. To prevent it, they ask users to create complex passwords. Besides, they also provide limited login attempts. In this way, it becomes challenging for the criminal to guess your credentials.

Currently, there is no way by which a platform can prevent this attack once it occurs. So, it is recommended that you take the necessary steps on your behalf. Always set up a strong password for every account. It must be such that hackers cannot guess it easily. You can use a password manager tool to help you with creating such a password. Besides, enable two-factor authentication. Also, ensure to register only on secure and reputable streaming platforms.

Malware Attacks

Malware attacks usually happen when you visit dubious streaming websites. These websites are filled with malware. It is disguised as a pirated video file. As soon as you download them, malware gets injected into your device.

Once malware is downloaded into your system, it spreads fast. Malicious software will infect not just your device but every machine in your network. It gives direct access to hackers into the confidential data on your system.

There are certain signs that signal the presence of malware in your device. For example, your PC has become extremely slow suddenly. Alternatively, you may find that it does not respond to your request. Pop-up windows and intrusive ads will start appearing on your device. You may be directed to websites that you do not want to access.

The best way to protect yourself from these attacks is to download files from reliable websites. We also recommend being cautious when opening any links on the websites you visit. A good practice is to install antivirus software on your system. Do it before downloading any files. It will scan the file before downloading it. If the file is malicious, the software will alert you. Thus, you will be saved from downloading potential malware into your device. Staying vigilant while downloading content on streaming websites is key to protecting yourself.

Summing up

Online streaming websites help us to conveniently fulfill our entertainment needs. But it is crucial to be aware of cybersecurity threats on them. Modern hackers are always on the lookout for new ways to steal your information. Staying cautious while using different streaming platforms and following the best security practices will help you avoid becoming their prey. They will ensure that you have an enjoyable experience while being secure.

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