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Feds Warn of Security Issues With Smart TVs

Walden Systems Geeks Corner News Feds Warn of Security Issues With Smart TVs Rutherford NJ New Jersey NYC New York City North Bergen County
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During Black Friday, many consumers purchased smart TVs. The FBI, which warned that smart TVs, which hook up to the internet to allow users to access apps and stream Netflix and other video services, can be gateways for hackers. Hackers can take control of unsecured TVs and can do everything from changing channels to turning on your bedroom TV’s camera and microphone and silently stalk you.

Smart TVs also have other security issues, such as the ability for hackers to compromise them to infiltrate home Wi-Fi setups and penetrate other devices on the network. A hacker may not be able to access a computer directly, but it is possible that unsecured TVs can give them an easy way in the backdoor through your router.

The feds also warned of the potential risk that your TV manufacturer and app developers may be listening and watching you, noting that newer TVs with built-in cameras allow video-chatting. Some models have facial recognition, so the TV knows who is watching and can suggest programming.

To protect against these threats, consumers should change smart TVs’ default security settings and passwords, and know how to turn off the microphones, cameras and collection of personal information if possible. They should also check a manufacturer’s track record with pushing out security patches. If you can't turn off the camera through the TV's settings, put black tape over the camera eye. Also check the privacy policy for the TV manufacturer and the streaming services you use. Confirm what data they collect, how they store that data, and what they do with it.