Did you remember to cancel the free trial you used to watch the Super Bowl?

ConsumerAffairs

VPNs are a coming thing, but you’ll probably need a bit of help. We’ve got some.

Any of you forget to cancel the free trial you signed up for to watch Super Bowl LVIII? Might want to check your credit card bill because you may have cycled yourself into a month of a service that you probably won’t use.

And there’s a lot of you in this red zone, too.  Researchers at All About Cookies found that 70% of people forget to cancel their free trials. 

Nope, you’re not toast… yet. But you better get moving if you want to get back any of that first month’s service that you’re now being charged for.

The first thing you can try is to reach out to the company's customer service immediately and explain that you intended to cancel the trial before it ended.

Some – some – may be willing to refund the charge if you act quickly and haven't used the service beyond the trial period. But there will be those who are licking their chops over a month’s service fee and may not let you wiggle out completely without paying something.

The new game in town

The researchers have discovered that some Americans are trying to do an end-run around all the pay-to-play services by using a virtual private network (VPN) to stream live sports – a tactic that can be used to get around local blackouts while people accessing bootleg streams may use a VPN to reduce the risk that illicit streaming sites pose.

The service that bore the brunt of many of those cunning consumers was YouTube TV. An easy option is to rely on a free trial through YouTube TV and match their IP address to bypass local streaming blackouts.

The researchers said that there was a 190% increase in searches for consumers trying to get around the rules of “how to change your YouTube TV location” since the playoffs began. 

What to do

VPNs work, but just like setting up a new internet connection or wi-fi connection, it’s not as simple as most people think. The All About Cookies researchers said that if you want to stream content responsibly you should do these three things:

  • Set yourself up with a VPN. VPNs are a recommended tool to keep yourself safe, no matter where you’re accessing your favorite shows and movies.

  • Download anti-malware protection. As live/online streaming can make you vulnerable to internet and privacy issues, it’s important to look into anti-malware software for a more secure streaming experience.

  • Keep your passwords secure. Be careful who you grant access to your streaming accounts. Password managers can offer smart features such as authorized credential cross-sharing and multi-factor authentication.

If you’d like to find out more about what VPNs do and review all the providers side-by-side, ConsumerAffairs has a guide that could put you on the right path. You can find it here. All About Cookies provides a guide that’s worth checking out, too.

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