Is your online music streaming account safe from hackers?


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Is your online music streaming account safe from hackers? – words Alexa Wang

The music industry has undergone many transformations in the past few decades, but it seems the advent of online music streaming might be one of the most significant yet.

Millions of avid music fans have already discovered the magnificent world of Spotify, Pandora, Tidal, Apple Music and similar service providers. Yet with all of those accounts holding sensitive personal and financial data that every hacker would wish they could lay their hands on, are subscribers truly safe?

 

The Music Streaming Industry is on the Rise

The truth is, not really. And since the music streaming industry has grown so much, this means that the benefits for any cyber-criminal would be that more massive. The total number of on-demand music streams in the US, both in audio and video format, has already surpassed 100 billion in 2013 – but it soon rose to over 310 billion in 2015, more than 430 billion in 2016 and finally almost 620 billion last year. This meteoric rise continues, the first half of 2018 already saw more than 400 billion online music streams in just six months. If one takes a look at just one service provider, the numbers are stunning: Spotify’s active users amount to roughly 180 million and its premium subscribers have reached 83 million as of July 2018 – and the service accounts for 40% of the market.

Music Streaming Providers Have Suffered Data Breaches

All of these users allow the service access to their personal data, and paid subscribers in particular have to share their payment and banking details – that’s the same for all other competitors, from Hulu to Apple Music. This volume of personal data is very valuable to hackers, and the music streaming industry has fallen victim to data breaches more than once. Spotify has had its fair share of security incidents, the worst of which saw some 40 million user accounts compromised back in 2014, while Pandora has also warned users that they could be in danger of being hacked. Last June, ticketing company Ticketfly, which until last year belonged to Pandora, disclosed that a hacker had successfully stolen data from over 26 million users, and a month before that, Tidal had to investigate a possible data breach. The list goes on and on – which means that no one is really safe.

Source: Pexels

How to Keep Your Account Safe

Luckily, there are a few things that can be done to increase web security for music streaming subscribers. Companies can upgrade their systems and integrate online tools that make a hacker’s life difficult. A WAF is routinely used on the login page of streaming websites – a web application firewall that filters malicious requests out of incoming traffic and prevents attackers from gaining unauthorized access to sensitive data. It has also been established that a data incident that Spotify dealt with two years ago could have been prevented if the service had installed two-factor authentication. Yet it also falls on the user to take steps to make their account more secure. For example, you can avoid logging into your account while on public Wi-Fi and you can install a VPN on your computer, a virtual private network that keeps your internet connection secure. It is also important to choose a strong password that you do not use elsewhere and to update it often – a password manager can be really helpful in taking care of that for you.

It might take some time and effort to boost the security of your online music streaming account but, given the continuous rise of cybercrime and hacking incidents, it could save you a lot of trouble down the line.

Infographic: The Unstoppable Rise of Music Streaming | Statista You will find more infographics at Statista

Is your online music streaming account safe from hackers? – words Alexa Wang

 

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