Is Netflix Party safe to use?

  • Photo: (c) Netflix

    Written by online safety expert, Wayne Denner 

    We’re all spending much more time indoors with the COVID 19 restrictions and my house is no different to anyone else’s, the kids are using loads of tech.  I’ve made some use of this, recruiting my eldest to do a bit of data entry but a larger proportion of their time at night is still tech based entertainment.   

    For young people (with even more time on their hands now) whos’ need to socialize may be greater, they’re lucky to have lots of creative ways to be connected with their friends digitally from Netflix Parties to Zoom Parties to TikTok and Snapchat groups. 

    So what is a Netflix Party?

    The Netflix Party concept is simple.  Groups of viewers get together to  simultaneously watch films and TV shows.   Then they can chat and discuss it, just like a night out at the cinema.  How is this even possible you might ask?.  Good Question.

    Netflix Party is a Chrome extension for watching Netflix remotely with friends, e.g., for watching films and TV Shows.   It synchronizes video playback and adds group chat.  The concept of Netflix Party is not new and has been around for some time but with more people spending time and social distancing it’s currently really gained popularity. Groups get together to stream Tiger King or the latest films.  The Guardian call’s it a ‘life saver’!.

    Is Netflix Party Safe?

    The first important bit for parents and carers to understand is that previously Netflix itself did not have particularly good parental controls in place.  This has been changing and Netflix have started to roll out some new safety controls.  Individual profiles can be locked down with the use of PIN codes, helping keep children away from adult shows but also helping keep others away from your Netflix profile. 

    Within the new parental controls parents can also tailor their kids Netflix experience by filtering out titles that aren’t appropriate.  Parents now have the ability to remove individual series or films by title. When this filter is used, the blocked title(s) won’t show up anywhere in that profile.

    Having your Netflix account set up correctly for you and the kids and availing of the enhanced parental controls will help make this a really safe, enjoyable experience.  To use Netflix Party, share a link with other people or click on a link that someone has sent you. Importantly – do have the conversation about not sharing the link with strangers or publically on social media platforms and how great it is that that they can hang out with their pals and watch movies and series together. 

    Within the conversation remind young people not to be clicking on links which they receive from strangers, those received in DMs (Direct Messages) or via emails.  Remember there is a chat feature. So always be careful, tell them not to share personal information, keep the chats to just friends and keep them positive, kind and friendly. 

    Enjoy!!

    Stay Safe Online.  And off.

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