Your smart TV could be spying on you

NewsGeneralRead FBI warns people about the smart TVs they just bought during Black Friday
By Robin Leigh Chetty

NewsGeneralRead FBI warns people about the smart TVs they just bought during Black Friday By Robin Leigh Chetty

More recently, Samsung issued guidance to customers saying they should regularly scan their smart TVs for malware, just like a PC.

Know exactly what features your TV has and how to control those features.

It goes on to say that the risk starts with the possibility of TB manufacturers and app developers could be watching and listening to you - potentially for marketing purposes.

Sure, a new smart TV sounds like the flawless piece of tech to add to your home - especially if it's on sale for Cyber Monday - but the Federal Bureau of Investigation wants to remind consumers to make sure they are shopping safe.

For many people, watching television is a beloved pastime - but could your smart TV be watching you in return?

A lot of the smart TVs being sold also have microphone and camera support, so if a hacker were somehow able to access your TV, they would be able to activate the TV's microphone and camera to listen in and watch you.

Hackers may try to exploit your smart TV to spy on you and gain access to other connected technologies in your home. Do a basic Internet search with your model number and the words "microphone", "camera", and "privacy".

Smart TV users were advised to familiarize themselves with security settings and change network passwords.

If you think you may have been hacked, incidents of cyber-crime can be reported to the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center in the United States, or check here for more information about UK-based services. If you can't turn them off, consider whether you are willing to take the risk of buying that model or using that service. And, as we've learned in the past, hardware companies that are making these internet-connected devices don't always make security their priority.

The FBI recommends placing black tape over an unused smart TV camera, keeping your smart TV up-to-date with the latest patches and fixes, and to read the privacy policy to better understand what your smart TV is capable of.

The smart TV category itself has become a lot more popular in the last few years, not only because more users want to connect to the Internet and benefit from services like Skype and Netflix, but also thanks to more manufacturers releasing such devices and prices overall going down.

But as much as the FBI's warning is responding to genuine fears, arguably one of the bigger issues that should cause as much if not greater concerns are how much tracking data is collected on smart TV owners.

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