FBI: Your New Smart TV May Be Spying On You
Congrats! You got a smoking Black Friday deal on a new Smart TV. Now just sync it to your Wi-Fi and you can binge-watch Netflix until the Spring thaw.
The FBI says think again. That brand new Smart TV may be watching and recording everything you do in the privacy of your own home.
Newer Smart TVs not only have built-in cameras but also allow TV manufacturers and app developers to possibly listen or watch consumers, according to the FBI. And unsecured TVs can be taken over by hackers.
At the low end of the risk spectrum, they can change channels, play with the volume, and show your kids inappropriate videos. In a worst-case scenario, they can turn on your bedroom TV's camera and microphone and silently cyberstalk you.
The FBI has some suggestions to help secure your Smart TV and make sure that no one can spy on you while sitting on the couch in your pajamas:
- Know exactly what features your TV has and how to control those features. Do a basic Internet search with your model number and the words “microphone,” “camera,” and “privacy.”
- Don’t depend on the default security settings. Change passwords if you can – and know how to turn off the microphones, cameras, and collection of personal information if possible. If you can’t turn them off, consider whether you are willing to take the risk of buying that model or using that service.
- If you can’t turn off a camera but want to, a simple piece of black tape over the camera eye is a back-to-basics option.
- Check the manufacturer’s ability to update your device with security patches. Can they do this? Have they done it in the past?