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It's bad news for mates using their friend's Netflix log in as the company launches an apparent crackdown on sharing passwords.

Some users of the streaming giant have reported being met with a screen warning them to make sure they are using their own account.

According to the Netflix terms of service, account details should "not be shared with individuals beyond your household."

The message that some users have reported reads: "If you don't live with the owner of this account, you need your own account to keep watching."

Viewers are said to be given the option to verify their identity through a code sent to the account's owner, or can choose to complete the process later.

In a statement, Netflix said on Thursday it is testing a feature that asks viewers to verify they share a household with the account holder.

A small number of Netflix users are receiving a message asking them to confirm they live with the account owner by entering details from a text message or email sent to the owner.

Viewers can delay the verification and keep watching the streaming service but the message may reappear when they open Netflix again, and eventually they could be required to open a new account to continue streaming.

The firm said: "This test is designed to help ensure that people using Netflix accounts are authorised to do so."

Netflix, the world's largest streaming service, constantly tests new features with users and it is unclear if the household verification requirement will be implemented more widely.

Netflix had previously said it was comfortable with users sharing their passwords.

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Speaking in 2016, CEO Reed Hastings said the company had "no plans" on a crackdown.

He said: "Password sharing is something you have to learn to live with, because there's so much legitimate password sharing, like you sharing with your spouse, with your kids. So there's no bright line, and we're doing fine as is."