Television streaming services are becoming more and more popular every day. There are now dozens of streaming services available to choose from including those offered by cable providers and even individual channels. Thanks to the wonders of the internet, an increasing number of people are enjoying the freedom of being able to watch the TV shows they want at any time and in any place. We are no longer bound to our televisions, but can enjoy TV on our computers, tablets and even our mobile phones. However, with this new found freedom comes the concern that we might be leaving ourselves vulnerable to online security threats. Just how safe are these streaming services?
How to Enjoy Streamed Content
In order to enjoy streaming TV all you really need is an internet connection and a suitable device such as a laptop or tablet on which to view the content. For the best viewing experience you should use a good quality broadband connection. Check out some of the latest Dish Satellite TV Deals which can be bundled with internet service at the same time.
Choosing a Reputable Service
In the majority of cases, using a streaming service is fairly low risk. You are not downloading the files onto your own device, but rather you are watching the program on the streaming service’s server via your internet connection. However, this only really applies when you are using a reputable service like Netflix, HBO Now, Hulu or Amazon Prime. Unfortunately, the popularity of streaming has also provided ample opportunity for piracy and that is where things become a little more risky.
There are a number of ‘free’ streaming services dotted around the internet, but these are generally illegal sites and therefore not regulated. There are some pretty substantial fines associated with piracy of this nature, although in most cases the authorities are more interested in prosecuting the host servers so first time offenders are often let off with a slap on the wrist. While you probably won’t get into too much trouble aside from a warning from your ISP if you are caught using an illegal streaming service, there are other dangers to consider. The biggest threat is that these sites are often packed full of malware. It is very common for users to be told that they have the wrong codec to view content and then be prompted to download an update. However, this is typically a trojan or some other undesirable file. In addition, these illegal sites may be offering poor quality copies which is going to affect your viewing experience.
The best way to avoid both of these concerns is to simply avoid the illegal sites even although the promise of ‘free’ TV may be tempting. Everything has a price and in this case it is sacrificing your security. It is best to stick with a reputable provider with a proven track record of customer safety. It is also advisable to make sure that your computer or other device is kept up to date and that you are using a good anti-virus program to protect yourself from malware and hackers.
Securing Your Internet Connection
Another possible security threat that can be associated with using streaming services relates to the internet connection that you use to access the service. It is often the case that people who subscribe to a streaming service will use it away from home. That’s one of the great thing about these services – we can use them to watch TV during a long commute or to occupy our time when staying in a hotel during a business trip. What we need to keep in mind is that when doing this, we are connecting to someone else’s WiFi connection. If this connection is public then you could be putting yourself at risk if you haven’t taken appropriate precautions.
Hackers are opportunistic people, and many of them will use a free public WiFi network as a way to gain access to unsecured devices connecting to the network. This means that there is a risk of sharing your information with a cyber criminal instead of the network provider. So, if you are going to use a public WiFi network to access your streaming services then do make sure that your device is properly secured.
In conclusion, while there are some risks that can be linked to using streaming services for the most part if you are using a reputable provider in your own home then you are unlikely to run into any issues.