Smart TVs have become very popular as an entertainment device among people. Because of the low price and high quality, people are showing interest in buying smart TVs. They offer voice recognition, interaction with Social Media, access to cloud services, and much more. Manufacturers to make the devices more appealing, producing more devices that are capable of connecting to the internet. But are you aware of the privacy risks of a smart TV? So let’s take a look at some of the benefits and risks of a smart TV.
What is a Smart TV?
First, let us discuss what a smart TV is? It is a television with an internet connection, which is the most attracting feature that allows you to install apps, streaming videos from several sites like Netflix, Hulu, voice control, webcams, running games, and many other exciting features. You can also have access to internet music channels as well as voice-recognition virtual assistant services, like Amazon’s Alexa. So there is no doubt to say that these internet-connected televisions can gather a lot of information about the user that may create a security threat.
Know the Security Threats Cause by Smart TVs
Recently, several security advisors, media, and consumer advocates have repeatedly raised questions regarding the issue. The FBI has written on its website, regarding the risks that smart TVs hold,
Beyond the risk that your TV manufacturer and app developers may be listening and watching you, that television can also be a gateway for hackers to come into your home. A bad cyber actor may not be able to access your locked-down computer directly, but it is possible that your unsecured TV can give him or her an easy way in the backdoor through your router.
You never know how much information is being gathered and potentially shared with third parties. The features, including voice control, camera, video chat, and games, offer a lot of fun, but they open numerous security concerns.
Why Smart TVs are Manufactured in this Way?
You may be thinking about why responsible manufacturers produce the televisions in such a way that creates such significant issues. This is probably because of public demand. Several customers want all of the streaming options, web browsing, apps available in the same device so that they enjoy all the options at the same place without extra efforts. Undoubtedly, there is more risk of having a computer connected to the internet than one that is not connected. This is the real fact that can be applied for all internet devices. Smart TVs also cost less than traditional TVs as the manufacturers can make money by selling data collected by ACR and other tools.
Some Effective Tips to Avoid Smart TV Security and Privacy Threats
1. Choose your privacy setting carefully
Whenever you are setting up your TV, be careful about the options you choose. Don’t leave your default setting in a hurry. You may have to select your data sharing and connectivity. Here our suggestion will be to go for the most restrictive option to limit your privacy exposure.
2. Disable the WiFi
If you want to be more sure about your privacy safety, you can disconnect your smart TV from the internet when you are not streaming anything. This will help to prevent the chance of data leaking out of your room. Though it will take away all the smart features of your smart TV, it will ensure safety.
3. Regularly update TV’s Firmware
Another thing you must follow is to update the new software versions. Updating the firmware is just like you do for your smartphones and computers. Your TV also requires timely security patches, and it may also allow you to enable automatic updates.
4. Ensure the Security of Your Router
Setting a strong password for your router can maker your Smart TV a lot more secure. You can also use encryption and follow other reasonable security measures.
5. Stay Alert with Your Smart TV's Camera and Microphones
You never know when your web camera and microphone go in the wrong hand, making them into surveillance devices. When you are not using the camera, you can keep it covered. In this way, you can avoid broadcasting your living room, even if a hacker compromises the TV. Turn off voice recognition features on your TV. You can also check the microphone privacy setting to minimize access.