- Posted by Melissa Shea
- On December 2, 2019
- 0 Comments
Did you buy a smart TV on Black Friday or do you plan to buy one today for Cyber Monday? If so, there are a few things that the FBI wants you to know.
Smart TVs are named as such because they connect you to the internet, allowing you to access streaming services and apps. Many have microphones that can be used to change the channel or volume. Newer smart TVs have built-in cameras, some of which use facial recognition to suggest viewer-appropriate programming. Soon you will even be able to video chat using your smart TV.
While these features are new and exciting, your television can now be used as a gateway for hackers to come into your home. They may not be able to access your locked-down computer, but your unsecured smart TV can give them backdoor access through your router. These hackers can take control of your TV; changing channels, playing with the volume, and showing inappropriate videos to your children. On a much more serious note, they can turn on your bedroom TV’s camera and microphone in order to silently cyberstalk you.
So, how can you protect your family?
- Know exactly what features your TV has and how to control those features. Do a basic Internet search with your model number and the words “microphone,” “camera,” and “privacy.”
- Don’t depend on the default security settings. Change passwords if you can – and know how to turn off the microphones, cameras, and collection of personal information if possible. If you can’t turn them off, consider whether you are willing to take the risk of buying that model or using that service.
- If you can’t turn off a camera but want to, a simple piece of black tape over the camera eye is a back-to-basics option.
- Check the manufacturer’s ability to update your device with security patches. Can they do this? Have they done it in the past?
If you have been victimized by a cyber fraud, be sure to report it to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.IC3.gov or call your local FBI office.
Read more: https://www.fbi.gov/contact-us/field-offices/portland/news/press-releases/tech-tuesdaysmart-tvs/?=portland-field-office