FBI Warns on the Internet Vulnerabilities of Smart TVs

Posted on December 2, 2019 at 10:37 AM

FBI Warns on the Internet Vulnerabilities of Smart TVs

Smart TV got one of the biggest sales on Black Friday, as sales for all items that day hit a record of $1.7 billion. However, the FBI has announced that buyers of the TVs could stand a risk of compromising their security. The FBI warned that the new Smart TV they bought on Black Friday can become an avenue where hackers could exploit.

Just like other gadgets you would connect to the internet, Fox Business reported that Smart TVs have the potential to become vulnerable as they have built-in features that enable them to get easy access to the internet. The streaming capabilities of the TV, although very convenient, could pose a potential security danger to the users, the FBI announced.

Besides, a lot of the new Smart TVs these days have a built-in camera. Unfortunately, hardware companies that produce these internet-enabled TVs are too careless about security. They don’t pay too much attention to potential internet vulnerabilities when people connect TVs via the internet.

Apart from the fact that the app developers and the TV manufacturers can have access to your information, the TVs are also vulnerable to hackers, the FBI warned.

Earlier this month, the Washington Post discovered that some of the biggest Smart TV makers, including LG and Samsung, collect information from user activities via their Smart TV platform. This information is usually shared with advertisers for marketing purposes. In 2017, Vizio, another Smart TV maker, has to pay a fine of $2 million for furtively collecting customers data.

Smart TVs could be very venerable

Even the most astute internet hacker can find it difficult to get to your system to cause havoc. But with smart TVs, it seems their job is made easier.

The hacker can pass through your router to steal sensitive information. It’s also possible for hackers to take hold of your unsecured TV. If someone hacks into the router, they can tamper with the TV settings, including changing the volume or changing the TV channel. This may not have a damaging effect, but it’s still an infringement on our privacy. However, more worrying is the fact that the hacker can use the medium to show inappropriate videos to your kids or cyberstalk you by turning on the microphone and TV camera.

The FBI has advised users to place a black tape on the camera eye to ensure regular updates from the manufacturer and prevent hackers from watching them.  Those TVs without constant security updates can be regarded as severely insecure.

What Smart TV users should for

The FBI has recommended that users should look for the exact model number of their TVs online, and find out if the TV’s description uses words like privacy, microphone, or camera. They should find out how to control these features.

The agency also warned users not to choose the default settings on the security option because it could leave them at the mercy of the manufactures or hackers. The FBI also said users should make sure they know how to turn off data collection, microphones, and cameras.

If they can’t turn these features off, the TV could be vulnerable to outside interference. In this case, the FBI advises the users to return the TV or get another model with those features enabled. Also, it’s necessary to understand the privacy policy of the manufacturer as well as other streaming services like Netflix.

According to the agency, the users should know how what kind of data the company collects, how it collects the data, and its data-sharing methods. These are some of the security measures to ensure there is no vulnerability issue from any angle.

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FBI Warns on the Internet Vulnerabilities of Smart TVs
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FBI Warns on the Internet Vulnerabilities of Smart TVs
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Smart TV got one of the biggest sales on Black Friday, as sales for all items that day hit a record of $1.7 billion. However, the FBI has announced that buyers of the TVs could stand a risk of compromising their security.
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Koddos
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