Tips to Prevent Hackers From Using Your Smart TV to Spy on You

A hacker wearing a hoodie operates a computer
A hacker wearing a hoodie operates a computer

Smart televisions have a wide range of interesting features, such as streaming apps, internet access, and built-in cameras and microphones. 

However, smart TVs can pose a risk because of their constant connection to the internet.

Hackers can gain access to your smart TV, control it and even change certain settings using built-in cameras and microphones.

A smart and capable hacker can spy on your conversations and search history through your smart TV or they could use that access to find a backdoor into your router and other connected devices.

A sillhoute of a hacker using a computer.jpg
A silhouette of a hacker using a computer on March 13, 2018.

Although scary, there are measures you can take to continue using your smart TV comfortably. 

Check for Microphone and Camera

Before you buy a smart TV, check to see whether it has a camera and/or a microphone. You'll want to dig around in the settings for this, before researching on your particular model if you have to.

If it is not possible to turn them off, consider whether you are willing to take the risk of buying that model or using that service.

Alternatively, tapping a piece of black tape over the camera eye is a back-to-basics option.

Avoid Default Settings

Another important measure to take is to avoid depending on default security settings. Change passwords if you can and know how to turn off the microphones, cameras, and collection of personal information if possible.

According to Francisco Navarro, a cyber security expert in Leicester, “Cyber-attackers can eavesdrop on the browser’s traffic and compromise the cookies that manage authentication to online services, such as social media accounts or online banking, and impersonate people.”

Check Privacy Policy

Moreover, you should check the privacy policy for the TV manufacturer and the streaming services you use. Confirm what data they collect, how they store that data, and what they do with it.

Avoid Using TV as a Browser

Another important measure is to avoid using your TV as a browser or your smartphone as a TV remote. Using the browser on your TV might be convenient, but it’s a major attack target for hackers. 

If you suspect that you are being spied on, unplug your TV from the power source and alert the authorities immediately.

This means we have to be extra cautious about who we let into our homes and what devices we let in.

If someone gained access to our television, they could easily watch and listen in on everything we do.

Data by the Communications Authority for the period between January and March 2020 shows 34,644,531 cyber threats
An illustration of someone engaged in cybercrime
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