Do Smart TVs Pose Security and Privacy Risks?
As manufacturers continue to create more internet-capable equipment, you may appreciate the simplicity and versatility they offer. You might not have considered, however, the risks linked with smart TVs and other smart home gadgets.
As costs have decreased and quality has increased, smart TVs have become a popular form of entertainment. Smart TVs make it easy to access Netflix, Hulu, Chromecast, Amazon Prime, and other streaming services from a single platform.
In this article, we will be sharing what security risks you can anticipate for your smart TVs and how to better secure them.
What is a Smart TV?
A smart TV is identical to a standard TV, but it can access the internet. A user can stream media services, access the internet, enjoy music online, shop online, and view on-demand movies.
On some smart TVs, speech recognition virtual assistant services such as Amazon’s Alexa can be used to change channels, adjust the volume, and search for shows.
Are Smart TVs Safe to Use?
Smart TVs, like any other device that regularly connects to the internet, pose several privacy and security issues. As Internet of Things (IoT) devices, they are especially susceptible to cyberattacks.
To begin with, your TV is less likely to support high-level security software because you cannot always download the same antivirus and encryption software as you can on your computer or smartphone. Many smart TVs, for instance, lack VPN capability.
Some of these devices contain built-in cameras and microphones that might be utilized by criminals. Due to the likelihood that your smart TV is connected to Wi-Fi, hackers may gain access to other devices on the same network, including your router.
A smart TV is a highly sophisticated device that offers multiple streaming, browsing, and gaming options. Before putting one into your living room, there are several dangers to consider.
A voice-enabled, internet-connected television can monitor what you are searching for and watching. Based on this information, they may personalize advertisements to your lifestyle.
It is possible to disable tracking on the majority of smart TVs, however, this is not usually the default setting. Before activating or deactivating smart TV functions, it is prudent to read the fine print.
Similar to other internet-connected gadgets, smart TVs can be compromised. Smart TV webcams might be compromised for espionage, or malware could spread from device to device via your router.
Methods for Hacking a Smart TV
Infiltration of webcams is not a new phenomenon, although it has recently attracted considerable notice. A hacker may use the webcam on your television to determine if you have anything of value in your home or if you will be gone for an extended amount of time.
Hackers have also accessed the connected smart TV’s built-in browser to download destructive code, change the volume remotely, quickly switch between channels, and access disturbing or explicit content.
Even if your television lacks a webcam, you should be aware that the content provider is likely monitoring your browsing history and what you watch. Much of this tracking is purposely done to present you with more relevant advertising, but you should consider whether or not you’re OK with it.
In their haste to bring new products to market, manufacturers of smart TVs may place security as an afterthought, despite their efforts to keep the software current. Due to rapid technological improvements, your smart TV from three years ago may soon seem obsolete.
This is where a secure router can be helpful, as it is the internet’s entry point into your home, and the router can provide security at this point. For instance, if you are using WOW TV equipment, you should ask them how you can better secure your router.
Moreover, according to research, hackers could potentially take control of millions of Samsung televisions by exploiting easily-identifiable security flaws.
Hackers may, among other things, alter TV stations, increase the volume, play unwanted YouTube videos, or disconnect the TV’s Wi-Fi connection. Since then, Samsung has published software updates to resolve the issue.
How to Prevent Smart TV Security Threats?
This is where there is a bright side. Even while vulnerabilities exist, no significant viruses have exploited them. It is impossible to determine the most effective defense against an attack that has not yet occurred. However, security concepts from other locations may be implemented here.
Keep Yourself Updated
Manufacturers will make every effort to fix security problems, thus it is in your best interest to use the most recent firmware. If you lack a compelling cause to skip them, you should not.
Firewalls must be installed
Like any other internet-connected equipment, your Smart TV should be protected by a firewall. For the time being, your best alternatives are a router-based firewall and any built-in firewall settings on your smart TV.
Scanners for malware will vary depending on the level of intelligence of your smart TV, but you should utilize a virus scanner app if you have one. Don’t forget to maintain its accuracy as well.
All in All
Smart TVs have gained popularity over time. Smart TV owners can easily navigate between streaming services and social media, just as they can on their smartphones, tablets, and computers.
This only increases the need to protect the privacy of your smart TV, and we have shared how this can be done.