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Chromecast is a wonderful device. Just by plugging this little device How to Set Up Your New Google Chromecast How to Set Up Your New Google Chromecast If you own a brand new Chromecast but have no idea how to use it, let our easy-to-follow guide help you get started in mere minutes. Read More into your TV’s HDMI port Video Cables Explained: Difference Between VGA, DVI, and HDMI Ports Video Cables Explained: Difference Between VGA, DVI, and HDMI Ports There are so many video cables out there and it can get confusing. VGA, DVI, HDMI, DisplayPort -- what's the difference and why do they even matter? Read More , you open a whole world of media streaming opportunities, but you should be aware of the dangers that come along with this.

This is especially true during the holiday season when you have family visiting and you’re streaming media to different TVs. If you have a single Chromecast plugged into any of those TV sets, you have a privacy issue you should be aware of. If you have more than one Chromecast device on multiple TVs, then the issue is even more serious.

The bottom line is this: the great thing about Chromecast is that it’s simple, fast and easy to use. However, as you’ll see, this is also its achilles heel when it comes to privacy.

Sharing Embarrassing Messages

In this first scenario, I’m going to describe to you how, with Google Cast, you can easily share sensitive (and very embarrassing) private online conversations The Simplest Way To Chromecast Your Hangout The Simplest Way To Chromecast Your Hangout If you've got a Chromecast, it's possible that you've thought about how you might use it to Chromecast a Hangout session. How? That's actually surprisingly easy. Read More with everyone in your house if you’re not careful.

Google Cast places a convenient icon in your Chrome browser letting you stream your current tab to the TV screen where the Chromecast device is installed.

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This is really useful if you’re sitting around with family and you want to watch a YouTube video or a Netflix movie 12 Christmas Movies on Netflix You Should Watch Right Now 12 Christmas Movies on Netflix You Should Watch Right Now Netflix has so much content it's often difficult to sort the wheat from the chaff. So, to help you out over the holidays, we have selected 12 Christmas movies worth watching on Netflix. Read More together. You can stream the tab and play the movie.

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The issue that can arise though, could be what happens once the movie is over. You might leave your laptop on and the TV still displaying whatever is going on inside that browser tab.

Then, without thinking, you later walk over to your laptop, open up Facebook, and send a seemingly private Facebook message How To See And Respond To Facebook IMs in Messages for Mac How To See And Respond To Facebook IMs in Messages for Mac Love Facebook chat, but don't want to leave Facebook open for fear of entire days disappearing? Here's how to integrate Facebook's chat service with Messages.app and more. Read More to another family member.

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Little do you know, the conversation is showing up large and in living color on the living room TV screen.

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Congratulations, you’ve just insulted grandma in front of the entire family.

Accidentally Sharing Your Mobile Screen

There is a really useful app that you should install on your Android if you have a Chromecast, called Screen Stream Mirroring.

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This app lets you not only stream video or web browser content, but you can literally mirror your entire mobile screen Mirror Your Android Screen to a PC or Mac Without Root Mirror Your Android Screen to a PC or Mac Without Root Looking to share your Android phone or tablet's screen to your desktop? It's easy, and your phone doesn't even need to be rooted. Let us show you how to do it. Read More to your television.

This is a really cool feature if you want to to show someone how to do something, or if you just want to share the content of an email or Facebook post with someone in the room.

However, if you forget that you’ve got the app running in the background, you could end up sharing every single thing that you’re doing on that phone with every person who’s watching the TV. They could all be in the other room watching the TV while you’re exchanging personal emails that maybe contain very private, confidential information.

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Or you could be broadcasting your device while you’re logging into some sensitive financial account like PayPal, where every keypress reveals the letter of the password on the screen before it changes to a dot. Anyone watching the TV would know your password once you’re finished.

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There are a lot of reasons you wouldn’t want someone watching your mobile screen with an app like this while you’re doing different things on your phone, so always be aware of when you’re actually streaming your screen to your Chromecast device, and remember to stop casting when you’re done!

Sharing Embarrassing Camera Captures

There are other apps like Live Cast for Android that let you live stream your phone’s camera wherever you go (so long as you’re connected to the same network as your Chromecast).

This can be a lot of fun. You could use it to set up an old smartphone as an IP security camera How to Use an Old Smartphone or Tablet as a Security Camera How to Use an Old Smartphone or Tablet as a Security Camera Learn how to easily set up your Android device to act as a home security camera! Read More somewhere in your house or garage. But if you use it to have a bit of fun during your holiday gathering, once again you don’t want to forget that you’ve got it turned on!

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Everywhere you go with that phone, you’ll be streaming video from its camera, and everyone watching the TV will see the stream. It doesn’t take much of an imagination to think of situations when this could get you into trouble if you forget that it’s turned on, especially if you’re one of those people who takes the phone into the bathroom with you…

Showing Everyone What You’re Watching

The most common use for Chromecast Awesome New Chromecast Apps, Tips and Tricks You'll Love Messing With Awesome New Chromecast Apps, Tips and Tricks You'll Love Messing With Apps are adding support for the Chromecast constantly, so keep checking your apps. Until then, read on to learn how to get the most out of your Chromecast with what is available today. Read More is to stream YouTube and other online videos How To Make Chromecast Your Smart Media Centre How To Make Chromecast Your Smart Media Centre At just $18, the Chromecast is an unmistakably great way to make your TV "smart", but it can feel a bit of a one-trick pony once the initial euphoria wears off. Read More to the TV. It’s so common that if you have Google Cast installed in your browser, it’s literally embedded right into every YouTube video you watch.

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With a single click of that icon, you can quickly stream to any Chromecast device in your house. There is only one other step to choose the Chromecast device, and that video will start streaming live to the television.

This is really convenient during that holiday party, because you can just launch a YouTube show or a Netflix movie and you’re done. No streaming media box needed, no special media server How to Create a Linux VLC Streaming Media Server for Your Home How to Create a Linux VLC Streaming Media Server for Your Home Enjoying music or movies via Netflix or YouTube is great, but what about when the Internet is down? With a VLC media server, you'll never have to go without entertainment again! Read More setup required – just the Chromecast and your computer or smartphone and you’re done.

While the convenience is a benefit, it can also be a curse.  Imagine what can happen if you’re innocently in your bedroom getting ready to do your daily yoga session; you launch the video of your favorite yoga instructor – who maybe happens to be very pretty.

You pull out your smartphone and start playing the yoga instruction video. You accidentally tap the cast icon instead of the maximize icon (they are right next to each other), and the little do you realize the video is also simultaneously playing in the living room where everyone is sitting around the TV.

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Halfway through your yoga routine, your cousins are pounding on your bedroom door laughing about the fact that you’re watching videos Porn Viewing Habits Could Be the Next Big Leak: Here's What To Do Porn Viewing Habits Could Be the Next Big Leak: Here's What To Do A software engineer has recently warned that you should expect your Internet history, specifically any adult sites you've visited, to be leaked. What can you do about this? Read More of “yoga chicks” while locked in your room.

Try to get out of that situation while saving face.

Enjoy Chromecast, But Protect Your Privacy

The reality is that no one needs to know what videos you’re watching in the privacy of your own home, and the ease with which you can cast video to your TV can turn that privacy on its head. Be careful, or you may find yourself having to answering some very weird questions!

Chromecast is one of the best streaming media devices on the market today, but just remember that with the convenience it offers, there are privacy concerns. Always be aware of when you are or aren’t streaming from your devices!

Have you ever accidentally streamed anything to your Chromecast device? Do you have any tricks you use to make sure you don’t end up embarrassed by your Chromecast stream? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section below!

Image Credits:Disappointed family by CREATISTA via Shutterstock

  1. kyrill
    December 28, 2015 at 7:50 pm

    Guys can you review the Megacast app? It's pretty cool on Android as it can play local files in any format transcoding them on the fly on your phone.

  2. Jefferson
    December 22, 2015 at 7:40 pm

    Multiple misery guts in this comments section but that's not unusual for makeuseof from my experience. I laughed at the "Yoga Chicks" example.

    • Ryan Dube
      December 24, 2015 at 6:03 am

      Thanks Jefferson - glad you liked it. :-)

  3. Ostap Bender
    December 22, 2015 at 12:22 am

    Nothing special in this topic.

  4. Sam Jones
    December 20, 2015 at 6:25 am

    A simlpe way around the problems of accidentally streaming to your Chromecast if your phone/router allow use 5GHz on your device and then switch it over to your 2.4GHz network to use the Chromecast. (Not sure if the new Chromecasts now support 5GHz but this works on the original ones).

    • Ryan Dube
      December 24, 2015 at 6:04 am

      Thanks Sam - that's an interesting one. Didn't realize that was the case!

  5. Kelsey Tidwell
    December 19, 2015 at 5:15 am

    Thanks for the article Ryan. Good heads-up for the holidays lol.

  6. Bill
    December 18, 2015 at 6:27 pm

    Terrible article. I can see possibly casting to the wrong device. To cast a video requires two clicks, one on the cast icon and one to select the actual device - so difficult to just accidentally click. Also a video you cast does not simultaneously play on your device like the "yoga" example above.

    • Ryan Dube
      December 24, 2015 at 6:06 am

      Thanks Bill - but if you cast a browser tab that's playing a video, that is actually exactly what can happen. It only switches to a unique window on the casting device if you're casting from an app like YouTube or Netflix. The tab cast does exactly what it says it'll do - broadcasts the tab that you're on. And if you forget that you're casting and start doing something embarrassing? Well...it'll be embarrassing. :-)

  7. likefun butnot
    December 18, 2015 at 5:21 pm

    I gave my brother a Chromecast last year while he was recovering from a surgery. First thing he did with it, at a family gathering, was accidentally cast porn to the 80" smart tv in his living room instead of his bedroom Chromecast. I learned things in that moment that I did NOT need to know.

    • James Bruce
      December 19, 2015 at 12:17 pm

      "accidentally" :)

    • Ryan Dube
      December 24, 2015 at 6:07 am

      While recovering from surgery?? I guess he recovered pretty quickly. :-)

  8. Lame
    December 18, 2015 at 4:05 pm

    Way to dance around the actual concern: porn. You don't accidentally want to get caught watching porn. Yoga Chicks? Please, literally nobody ever has ever worried that anyone would catch them watching "Yoga Chicks."

    • Ryan Dube
      December 24, 2015 at 6:07 am

      Yes, well I didn't want to come right out and blatantly say it, but yes, if you watch porn using all of your devices, you are especially at risk for this embarrassment. :-)

  9. Bill
    December 18, 2015 at 10:09 am

    The biggest mistake would be buying a Chromecast in the first place because it is a piece of shit. Tab casting cannot play any video without jerky motion, and Google try to hide this fact till after they have gotten your cash.

    • A.I. Sajib
      December 18, 2015 at 1:01 pm

      I beg to disagree. Chromecast isn't available in my country and I got one during my recent visit to the US. It is simply the best $35 I've spent on a gadget. Makes life much, much easier than having to screw around with HDMI cables and whatnot. If you're expecting a 35 bucks device to change your life then you need to redefine your expectation.

      Also, jerky motion when casting from Chrome video has never occurred in my case. And I stream 1080p video from my Chrome tab to my TV all the time. So it has to be your router, the speed, channel, etc. a number of other factors in play. Know first before putting the blame on something.

    • Tom
      December 18, 2015 at 5:38 pm

      We've had Chromecast for two years now and never had a problem. Maybe it's your Internet connection or TV.

    • Kelsey Tidwell
      December 19, 2015 at 5:12 am

      I've never had this problem either. I've got one on the living room TV and it's never given me any problems casting from any of our phones, our two Chromebooks, or my other computers. My son uses one on his bedroom TV, and believe me, I'd be the first to know if there were playback issues lol.

    • Ryan Dube
      December 24, 2015 at 6:09 am

      The only time I've had a time with poor quality video is when I tried to cast from a mobile phone that was across the house from the router, to a TV that was ALSO across the house from the wireless router. If you think about this - that requires traffic to/from your phone, and to/from the TV. So - it may not be your Chromecast, it may just be where you've placed the devices in relation to your wireless router.

  10. Jane
    December 18, 2015 at 9:28 am

    Aren't these just variations of the same thing?

  11. Bud
    December 18, 2015 at 5:17 am

    Dumbest article of the day. Something like: is embarrassing if you go to work and forget to dress up.

    • Ryan Dube
      December 18, 2015 at 5:38 am

      I've had that dream. :-)

      Not quite the same though, because you can't accidentally click a button and instantly appear at work dressed in nothing but your birthday suit...

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