There are many reasons to have a smart TV in your home–whether it’s easy access to your favorite streaming sites, being able to browse the internet on a large screen or just playing your favorite games. However, with every great invention comes great consequences. Many people are starting to become aware of (and angry about) the fact that governments, hackers and companies have the ability to spy on us through our devices. This is true and scary. But there are even more reasons to be wary of your smart TV.
While rare, it is possible to get a virus on your smart TV. Basically, it comes down to: anything with a web browser is susceptible to viruses or malware. To prevent this, make sure you know what websites you’re clicking on (and that they’re not popup-prone). Don’t fall for popups telling you that you have critical programming errors. Don’t connect to unknown WiFi hookups. Update your software frequently. And just in case, don’t do anything financially sensitive on your smart TV, such as shop or log onto your online bank account.
It’s no secret that in our modern times, companies have crossed the line in terms of collecting information on their customers. This doesn’t stop at companies who create smart TVs. Your viewing habits and other private information is stored and monitored through code. This information is most commonly used to basically “sell back” to you by marketing what their code thinks you will enjoy. Sometimes it’s not even the smart TV manufacturer who is doing the marketing as they often sell this information to other marketers. And if you are logged into an account on a platform such as Netflix, your viewing habits and private information will follow you throughout all of your other devices that are logged in to said account. This is typical and unfortunately, inescapable under current laws.
Multiple researchers and white hats have also been able to break into smart TVs to spy on viewers through video cameras and microphones. Imagine someone eavesdropping on you while you’re unknowingly staring right at them! Not only that, but hackers can also access files stored on your smart TV. So make sure not to store any sensitive information there. There are many vulnerabilities that make most smart TVs susceptible to attacks and companies are actively working to fix these. However, while some of the smartest programmers in the world are the good guys, many are not.