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Cable-cutting could appear to be more convenient, but are associated risks worth it?

Are saying goodbye to 'normal' television forever?

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We are no longer in the age where all of the television content we consume comes through our living room sets from a cable provider. Online streaming has become a viable option for those that want to have a greater selection of a la carte programming that they can tailor to their preferences.

The internet has changed video consumption habits, especially since social sites like YouTube and Instagram have become a hit with several key demographics, especially among younger audiences, but services like Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime, and others allow all users to view the content they would normally see through a cable provider, along with original programming.

But there are now various streaming services looking to replace your entire cable plan from Sling to YouTube TV, but is the convenience of having your TV programming online worth the inherent security risks?

Obviously, any time you are putting your credit card details online with a third party, you are taking a risk, and hoping that the company takes their data security seriously. If a third party streaming provider isn’t properly monitoring potential security threats and attacks, and using something to protect your sensitive data, they could be making themselves vulnerable. Companies large and small have become vulnerable to attacks lately, and it seems that, on a weekly basis, we are hearing news of companies sending out emails requesting password resets after a data breach.

Along those lines, many users seem to be sharing login credentials to streaming sites, and while network security is crucial to providers, sharing your login credentials to a non-paying user is basically trusting that their own security practices on computers and mobile devices are top-notch, otherwise it’s as good as giving any stranger your personal information.

This is a growing problem, as reported last year by Threat Metrix. They reported that along with companies losing up to $500 in potential revenue in 2015 with the numbers looking to grow, there are also billions of personal login credentials stolen and available on the dark web.

The issue with shared login credentials has also led to Netflix customers in the UK being subjected to a phishing attack, and a cyber attack against HBO.

While it may seem like handing out your username and password to a friend is something small; what is to stop the sharing there? That person could end up sharing it with another person and a chain reaction starts. If it gets into the wrong person’s hands, that could lead to hackers having access to the financial information on your account. In the case of Amazon Prime’s video services, that is also opening a consumer up for a hacker to use that account and information for making purchases.

As Boy Genius Report stated in a recent report, the number of cord-cutters has tripled in the last five years. They sourced a report from Video Advertising Bureau showing the numbers growth since 2013 of households using only streaming services, which adds up to about 14 million households.

The convenience of having your television content on the internet is the sane as other things that have made a huge impact on the market to moving online, but safety remains a concern.