Your Smart TV is Watching You

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This post is by Bernie Carr,

Back in 2014, I wrote Even your TV can spy on you warning readers that certain brands of smart TVs are collecting data about you and recording your conversations.

Well, the loss of privacy has only gotten worse. Now the FBI is warning that smart TVs are not only spying on you 24 hours a day, they are also a gateway for hackers to get into your home.

How do smart TVs spy on you?

Smart TVs have features that allow them to track your behavior and send out the information to interested parties:

  • They are connected to the internet
  • They have microphones that allow you to voice activate them, and therefore can record your voice.
  • Some TVs have built-in cameras that can recognize who is watching and therefore tailor the programming to the viewer.

The same features that make them a great convenience also allow your privacy to be compromised.

Hackers can access your TV

Besides the privacy loss, hacker can also take control of your TV – change channels, adjust the volume, show inappropriate content.  They can even use the microphone and camera to watch and listen to your private conversations. In other words, they can stalk you via your TV!

What does the FBI recommend?

  • Know what your TV can do – get familiar with all its features and know how to control them.
  • Set passwords to access your TV and change them frequently.
  • Turn off the microphone and camera.
  • If you are unable to turn off the camera, just place a piece of black tape over it. I’ve always covered the camera on my laptop for this same reason.
  • Check on the manufacturer’s security patches – how often they do them or whether they have ever done them.
  • Read the privacy policy of the manufacturer and all the streaming services you use.

Of course another thing you can do is avoid buying a smart TV.


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Image by succo from Pixabay

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