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Which services let you share accounts with your family?

Because sharing the one Netflix account with them can be a bit of a pain sometimes.

Image: Netflix

IF YOU HAVE a family, chances are you’re sharing a number of services or devices with them. For the most part, this can’t be helped and unless you’re overflowing with cash, your kids or other family members will be using the one account over again.

Most services now include customisation and when that comes into the equation, it means you want to keep everyone’s use separate, and you don’t want to give your kids access to things like debit/credit card details or passwords.

That’s where multiple accounts come in and while certain services like Spotify and most smartphones/tablets only allow single use, there are many others out there that allow for separate user profiles for your family. Here are the most popular examples.

Computer/Laptop

Windows and Mac allow two types of accounts to be set up: admin and standard. As the name implies, Admin allows you complete control of your computer/laptop and lets you decide what programs are installed while a standard profile only allows you to carry out normal activities on your computer.

Depending on what version of Windows you’re using, it’s a matter of going into Control Panel/ Settings and finding the accounts section. Mac users only have to go into System Preferences and then Users & Groups.

Mac Users Setting up multiple users on Mac. Source: TheJournal.ie

Smartphones/Tablets

At the moment, neither iOS nor Android allow you to use multiple accounts, although that’s going to change soon when their latest updates, iOS 8 and Android L, arrive later this year (most likely late September/October).

On the other hand, Android tablets allow you to set up multiple user profiles, either a normal user profile or a restricted profile (control access to apps and content from your account). This can be found in Settings under the submenu Device.

For Windows Phone, there are two features which act similarly to this. The first is Kid’s Corner, which lets you personalise your phone or tablet with approved apps before your child use them.

The second is Apps Corner, which is part of the latest update 8.1. It effectively does the same function except it’s designed for anyone that may be using your phone. Both features require you to activate them first before they can be used.

Browsers

The two most popular accounts, Chrome and Firefox, allow the creation of multiple accounts for use. Both require you to go into settings and are relatively easy to set up.

Internet Explorer doesn’t have multiple users, but what it does allow is the use of new sessions which helps keep your data separate.

Chrome Setting up multiple users on Chrome. Source: TheJournal.ie

Netflix

While you can upgrade your account to view on multiple screens, you can set up multiple users under the one account so that your viewing data isn’t mixed up.

Since Netflix offers suggestions based on what you watch, it makes sense to have once account for yourself and another for the kids so they won’t see shows based on you watching the likes of Orphan Black or Breaking Bad.

Netflix You can set up different user profiles for kids and adults through the one Netflix account. Source: TheJournal.ie

Gaming

If your family is into gaming, all of the major consoles (PS4, Xbox One and Wii U) and the Steam store on PC/Mac allow you to set up multiple accounts to keep save data and achievements separate.

Steam Family sharing Steam has a family sharing option, which allows you to block access to certain games with a pin code. Source: TheJournal.ie

Amazon Kindle

While sharing a Kindle account means you’re allowing others access to your debit/credit card details, bookmarks and other notes, a safer method would be loaning books to other users.

If you go into Manage your Kindle page, you can select loan book and give your collection that way. When it’s accepted, the user has fourteen days to read it before the loan period ends so long as they have a Kindle app installed or own a Kindle device.

During this loan period, you won’t be able to read the book in question.

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About the author:

Quinton O'Reilly

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