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Stream and Tell: Survey Reveals America's Password Sharing Confessions

In May of 2023, Netflix announced efforts to limit password sharing among users, and with the crackdown, many password borrowers were logged out of the streaming service. Though Netflix has made this stand, many Americans continue to share passwords for other streaming services. So we decided to see just how much of the country is borrowing a password to watch their favorite shows and movies.

To find this, we surveyed Americans across the country about their usage of streaming services. We asked everything from which services they use, which passwords they share or borrow, and which streaming services they would stop watching if password-sharing was restricted. Read on to see which states have the most password borrowers!

Key Takeaways

  • California, Ohio, and Florida residents are most likely to share passwords.
  • Netflix, Disney+, and Hulu are most watched with borrowed passwords.
  • Overall, 69% of Americans have used someone else's login for a streaming service in the past.
  • When it comes to password sharing, 80% of Americans don't view it as a form of stealing.

Where Are Americans Currently Sharing Passwords the Most?

A U.S. heatmap showing the states most and least likely to share passwords

Throughout our lives, we often hear the phrase “sharing is caring,” and 69% of Americans have felt the love when friends or family have shared login information with them for streaming services. In most cases, streaming services require a higher monthly payment to allow for multiple users on one account, but sharing login info often circumvents this extra charge.

Leading the way is California with a password sharing score of 98.0 out of 100. Residents in the state are most likely to use a shared password for Netflix and Disney+. Those who borrow passwords from other residents of the state are likely to have an interruption-free watching experience, as 1 in 2 California residents pay extra for no ads.

In second is Ohio with a password sharing score of 91.0 out of 100, followed closely by Florida with a score of 89.8 out of 100. Overall, 80% of Americans don't view password sharing as a form of stealing, but streaming services don’t seem to agree as stricter guidelines are scheduled to go into effect soon.

Residents in Kentucky, Indiana, and Wisconsin are least likely to use a shared password for streaming services. Kentucky residents are the most likely to view password sharing as a form of stealing, which could be one reason residents avoid sharing their login information.

The U.S. Cities with the Most Password Borrowers

A U.S. map plotting the cities that share streaming service passwords most and least

While North Carolina residents as a whole ranked as the 8th most likely to share passwords, Charlotte, NC, is the city most likely to share the streaming service love. The Queen City received a password-sharing score of 97.8 out of 100, and the residents are most likely to share their login information for Amazon Prime Video.

Following closely behind for password sharing is Chicago, IL, and Atlanta, GA. Password sharing has already started being restricted, causing viewers who were borrowing a login to get their own account. This hasn’t been the case for everyone, however, as nearly 1 in 10 Americans have canceled an account after the restrictions were put in place.

Some Americans only watch certain streaming services due to the free access, however. If a password crackdown took place across all services, viewers say they would be most likely to give up Netflix, Hulu, and Disney+ for good. Perhaps this means those who were password sharing for Netflix and Disney+ have already said their goodbyes following the restrictions put in place.

For some people sharing passwords, there is more to the agreement than simply passing along the login information. Of the Americans who share passwords, 36% have a rule in place for users to only use the guest account. In addition, 24% require password borrowers to ask before logging on.

The Streaming Services Americans Share Passwords to Most

A bar chart showing the streaming services Americans share passwords for most

Whether you are a young adult still clinging to your parent’s account or you want to watch a new show that is only available on one streaming service, sharing passwords is common. Overall, 69% of Americans say they have used someone else’s login at least once before.

In our study, we found Netflix, Disney+, and Max (formerly HBO), are the most common platforms for password sharing. A majority of Americans are sharing logins with their family, but they are not the only people logging in for free. When it comes to sharing passwords, 1 in 3 people share with their partner, while 1 in 4 share with friends.

Some Americans have found themselves accidentally sharing passwords. Our survey found that 1 in 10 people discovered someone continued to use their account after they logged in at another house. That could be why 1 in 6 people say they have been kicked out of a streaming service they were logged into.

Conclusion

While sharing passwords can be viewed as a kind gesture, it is also a risk to your online security. This can also lead to your data becoming more vulnerable, especially if you are sharing passwords you use across multiple sites.

Whether you have already experienced a loss of irreplaceable memories stored on your laptop, or you want to protect yourself for the future, Secure Data Recovery is here to help. Our team is available 24/7 to provide a free consultation and quote, so it is easier than ever to get the data protection and recovery you need.

Methodology

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In this study, we surveyed Americans in every state and various cities across the U.S. to determine where the most people are borrowing streaming service passwords. We asked about the usage of various popular streaming platforms, their opinion on sharing passwords, the rules that go along with sharing, and more.

To determine where people are borrowing most, we added the percentages of people who say they use a password for a specific streaming service together to find the total percentage across all platforms. We then adjusted this on a scale of 0 to 100, with 100 being the highest percentage of borrowers.

States excluded due to a lack of respondents include Alaska, Delaware, Hawaii, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, and Wyoming.

Article by

T.J. Burlee is a content writer for Secure Data Recovery Services. He specializes in various topics in the data industry, including data recovery technology, storage devices, and digital forensics. Throughout his career, he has covered complex concepts and provided accessible solutions for users. Before joining Secure Data, he worked as a freelance technical writer.

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