Apr 08, 2021 08:45 AM EDT
When you think of devices that can become infected with viruses or hacked, a smart TV is probably one of the last ones that come to mind. However, smart TVs have become so popular that nearly every household has one these days. Just as any other electronic device that connects to the internet, they're also vulnerable to cyber-attacks, data leaks, and breaches of privacy. Whether you already have a smart TV or are considering getting your first one, here are the top three ways to secure one.
Security and Privacy Risks Facing Smart TV Users
Because they connect to the internet and many have built-in cameras and microphones, smart TVs pose both security and privacy risks. The biggest privacy issue is with data collection. Many smart TVs have ACR technology, which keeps a record of everything that's displayed on the screen. The data is collected and sold to advertisers and other third parties to provide you with viewing recommendations, targeted ads, and other services. As far as security risks are concerned, if your smart TV had voice control or a camera for games and video chatting, these can actually be used as surveillance devices.
How Users Can Secure Their Smart TV
Fortunately, there are several ways for you to secure your smart TV. Here are the top three.
Configure Your Privacy Settings
While a smart TV's operating system isn't as refined or user-friendly as a smartphone or computer, there are privacy settings in there that you can set to help secure your data. Select the most restrictive options for data sharing, connectivity, and other features to ensure your privacy.
Cover Cameras and Disable Microphones
If you don't need to use voice activation and you aren't on a call, disable the microphone on your smart TV to ensure that no outside source can listen in without your knowledge. If your smart TV has a camera with a cover, make sure that you cover the camera whenever it's not in use. If the camera doesn't have a cover, tape a piece of plastic or cardboard over the lens or cover it with a dark cloth when you're not using it to ensure that no prying eyes find their way inside your home.
Strengthen Your Router Security
If your smart TV is connected to a router that has strong security, it goes without saying that the TV itself will be more secure. Using a VPN router is the safest and most secure way to connect your smart TV to the internet. Every device that connects to the VPN router will be protected by a Virtual Private Network, meaning that all incoming and outgoing data will be encrypted. The location of the device will also be masked.
It's easy to forget that a TV can be hacked the same way a computer can, but you should always keep that in mind. Make sure your privacy is protected and your home and data secure by following the three essential tips above when setting up a smart TV.
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