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Smart TVs susceptible to hacking: How to stay safe?

Smart TVs susceptible to hacking: How to stay safe?
Photo Credit: Pexels
16 Sep, 2021

The so-called ‘idiot box’ is smart and connected now. But while technology giants like Google have made TVs smarter, all these capabilities bring new security challenges.  

These devices are connected to the internet, which makes them prime target for malware and viruses. A hacker, for instance, could use your unprotected Wi-Fi network to slip a malware capable of hijacking the TV’s camera or mic (by leveraging a backdoor), or you could download the virus mistakenly while browsing on TV. 

The fact that TVs are not as well protected as computers, which come with strong antivirus and firewall systems, makes the matter even worse. 

“Like any device that regularly connects to the internet, smart TVs collect a lot of private data, which leads to a variety of privacy and security concerns. But, unlike other smart devices, they cannot be equipped with the latest cybersecurity software (like antivirus), and that makes them even more vulnerable to cybercrime,” Daniel Markuson, a digital security expert from NordVPN, said. 

In 2019, the FBI had released a warning saying that smart TVs can make users vulnerable to surveillance.  

So, what can you do to avoid this? 

According to NordVPN, to avoid these scenarios, users are recommended to follow a few basic practices such as downloading apps from official stores, browsing only well-known websites, and turning off (or covering) the camera of the TV when not in use.  

Users should also ensure password hygiene across all the apps, the TV, and the router to ensure no one could break in. Passwords should be long, complex, and randomized, with a mix of numbers and letters. 

And, finally, it is recommended to install security updates as and when they become available. This would ensure that the device remains updated, with no known open vulnerability that hackers could exploit.