More and more, online streaming services have become a primary source of entertainment for millions all around the world. Just log-in, and in an instant, you have access to millions of hours of TV shows and movies. One of the premier streaming services these days is Hulu.
Hulu was launched in 2008 and is, to date, still the only streaming service that provides its viewers with instant access to current TV shows from every major network. And it has in recent years started to make a name for itself as a creator of original content, as well.
As with just about anything that is in demand, Hulu has attracted its share of scammers. How can you tell if you are about to be the victim of a Hulu scam? And, more importantly, how do you stop someone who may already have access to your account?
Read the following guide to find out more about the common scams associated with Hulu, how to verify if your account has been hacked, and then how to get rid of any unauthorized users.
(Do you use a streaming service other than Hulu? Check out our other Streaming Service Scams guides for help with other major providers.)
Popular Scams Associated with Hulu
Premium streaming services tend to require paid subscriptions, with confidential log-in information required for access. As such, it is that log-in information on which most Hulu-centric scams tend to focus.
You may get an email stating that your account has been compromised. And it recommends you log-in right away to verify that fact and change your information. The problem here is that that email may not actually be coming from Hulu, and that link you’re supposed to click on may actually give a hacker access to your log-in info. It could be a phishing attempt.
Any email you may get requesting a change of password should always raise a red flag. In a case like that, you should go to your Hulu account directly, rather than try to follow a link. And if you really want to make sure, hover your cursor over a link to see if the destination website is really what it’s supposed to be.
And verify the sender’s email address. Some scammers use addresses like email@example.com. That may look legitimate. But then you should realize that actual authorized Hulu emails should end in @hulu.com, i.e. firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Too many passwords! With so many accounts and activities requiring log-in information, it’s hardly uncommon for people to use similar log-in information for multiple accounts. Unfortunately, hackers are well aware of this behavior. So, they may be able to hack a website with relatively weak security and get the log-in information there. Then, they will use that same information to access other accounts you may have, including Hulu.
That’s why it’s so important to have unique passwords for each account you may have online.
How to Find Out if Your Hulu Account Was Hacked
Fortunately, Hulu makes it fairly easy for you to keep an eye on your account, including anyone else who may have accessed it. Hulu has recently initiated a policy of sending confirmation emails whenever new devices access an account. And there are other ways you can be proactive about verifying a hack yourself:
Look for Unknown Profiles and Devices on Your Account
- When you are logged in to your Hulu account, go to the Manage Devices section.
- Scan the list for devices and users that you don’t recognize.
- Ask friends or family to whom you may have given access at one time about any unfamiliar devices or user names you found.
- If there is any profile or device on your account that you or your associates don’t recognize, just delete it.
See if Your Home Device Keeps Changing
You may notice that the home device listed on your account keeps changing to one that’s different from the one you set-up. That is a pretty good sign of illegal use of your account. After resetting your home device back to the correct one, follow the same process as above in the Manage Devices section and remove the suspicious device from the list.
Steps You Should Take to Block Hackers
Being able to recognize fairly easily that your Hulu account has been illegally accessed definitely gives you an advantage. You know quickly, and so you can take action to react quickly and block unauthorized users. And you can also make efforts to prevent hackers from getting in to begin with. In addition to deleting any unknowns, additional precautions you can take include:
Update Your Password
To prevent unauthorized users, change your log-in information. This can involve changing both your email and password (if you have an alternate email you can use). Or, easier but still effective, you can just change your password.
- For either option, log out of your Hulu account.
- Then, on the log-in pop-up, click on “Forgot your email or password?”
- Follow the directions that Hulu gives you to reset your information.
- For a new password, it should be one that is unique and ideally non-guessable by anyone other than yourself. Use special characters in place of actual letters. Change up capitalization. Etc.
Set-up 2-Factor Authentication
In most cases, even if someone is able to guess your password, 2-factor authentication should be able to stop them in their tracks. Hulu does not currently offer 2-factor authentication due to conflicts with older smart TVs. However, as long as you have a long and unique password, your account should still be relatively secure. And hopefully one day soon, they will be able to enact 2-factor authentication to give their users even greater security and control over their accounts.
As it is right now, Hulu can be considered relatively strong when it comes to preventing and stopping scammers from accessing their services and taking advantage of their users. And, in just a few steps, Hulu empowers its users to take control and fight back themselves.
This post is one in a series about managing streaming service scams. Others include:
For more information about scams in general, you can find it on the PeopleFinders blog.
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