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Three Tip Thursday: 05/04/17

Today’s T3 includes tips for using multiple streaming media players, avoiding an email scam, and deals to celebrate Star Wars Day.

1. Using the Same Streaming Provider Account on Multiple Devices

Recently I’ve received a question from several readers who have more than one streaming media device on different TVs. They want to know if they need different accounts for their various streaming content providers (Netflix, HBO NOW, Sling TV, etc.) for each device.

The short answer is no, you can sign into those apps with the same account on multiple devices. The longer answer is that each content provider has its own rules about how many screens you can stream to at the same time, which includes computers and mobile devices as well as TVs.

For example, Netflix has three different subscription plans. On the lowest level, which is $7.99/month, you are only allowed to stream to one screen at a time. So if you have a Roku player on two different TVs (or a Roku player on one TV and an Amazon Fire TV Stick on another player, or any other combination of streaming devices), you can only watch Netflix on one of those TVs at a time if that’s the plan you have. If you want to watch Netflix on the other TV at the same time, you would need to upgrade to the next level plan at $8.99/month and if you want to watch on more than two screens, you would need the highest level plan, which allows you to stream to four screens simultaneously for $11.99/month. If you want to watch on more than four screens at once, then you would need a second Netflix account.

The most important word here is “simultaneously.” If you have the 1-screen plan, you could watch Netflix on both TVs with the same account as long as you’re not watching it at the same time.

For your own situation, you’ll need to check with each provider you use to see what their restrictions are. In addition to the total number of screens you can stream to at once, some providers also have a restriction on the number of streams of the same content at a time.

Hopefully at some point, the streaming industry will start to develop some standards to make it a lot less complicated, but at the moment it’s very much a case-by-case basis. If you have other questions about streaming, I recommend you check out this T4L post: Streaming Media: Frequently Asked Questions.

2. Google Docs Phishing Scam

Yesterday (May 3), a major email scam was circulating where people received invitations to open a Google Docs file, and if you clicked the link you’d be prompted to sign into Google and your login info would be captured by the hackers. I didn’t get it myself, but apparently it was very convincing looking and spread very quickly.

Fortunately, Google was able to shut it down within an hour but you may still have an email sitting in your Inbox, in which case you should just delete the message. If you’ve clicked on it already, you’ll want to remove permissions for the offending app and probably change your Google password. There are lots of articles out there explaining out to do this; I found this one to be particularly clear and helpful:

How to avoid the Google Docs phishing attack and what to do if you’re a victim (The Telegraph, 05/04/07)

3. Star Wars Deals

May the Fourth be with you! If you’re looking to celebrate Star Wars today and beyond, here are a few deals to check out.

Also, check out this fantastic Omaze campaign where you can enter for a chance to win a number of Star Wars-related experiences, including spending the night at Skywalker Ranch, visiting the set of the Han Solo movie, attend the premiere of The Last Jedi, and—for a limited time only—lunch with Mark Hamill in Los Angeles!

You may also be interested in:

Streaming Media: News, Views, and How-Tos

Make Your Passwords Stronger AND Easier to Remember

Elizabeth Kricfalusi

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