Smart TVs are being used to cyberstalk you – according to the FBI

By:  |  Category: Blog Wednesday, December 11th, 2019  |  No Comments
Smart TV's

Have you ever had that strange feeling like something is watching you, but nothing’s there? Did that feeling happen in front of a smart TV? Electronics can give off some weird signals, but none weirder than those that are literally watching you.

The FBI has recently issued warnings about just that, “hackers can also take control of your unsecured TV.” This age where humans have every possible want at the tips of their fingers, comes with a price.

Per the FBI’s warnings, “at the low end of the risk spectrum, [hackers] can change channels, play with the volume, and show your kids inappropriate videos. In a worst-case scenario, they can turn on your bedroom TV’s camera and microphone and silently cyberstalk you.”

That’s the last time we make fun of people who put sticky notes over their device’s cameras!

This isn’t a new topic either. Several years ago, smart TVs from Samsung, Vizio and LG were spying and reporting viewing habits back to the TVs manufacturers. The FBI’s warning states this could still be happening, only it now includes app developers as well.

Even if a hacker isn’t there to stalk you, they could still use your TV to infiltrate your home.

“[A] television can also be a gateway for hackers to come into your home. A bad cyber actor may not be able to access your locked-down computer directly, but it is possible that your unsecured TV can give him or her an easy way in the backdoor through your router.”

So, what’s the recommendation?

“Change your security settings, and, if possible, change your passwords. You should also know how to turn off your TV’s microphones and cameras. If you can’t turn off a camera, you can always put a piece of black tape over the camera lens.” See, the sticky note people had it right all along!

While that may placate the cybercriminals, there’s still the fact that your TV manufacturer is watching “every second of what you’re viewing.” Todays smart TVS use (ACR) automatic content recognition, so wherever you are, whatever you’re watching, the manufacturer can access that information.

Unfortunately, the end-user-license agreements we all click through as fast as possible while setting up our smart TVs, authorized the manufacturer to collect our viewing information.

“Today, if you want to protect your privacy, it would be smart to make your TV as dumb as possible.” Words to live by.

If you need assistance with cybersecurity for your business call EnhancedTECH at 714-970-9330 or reach us at [email protected]

–Emmy Seigler



Image Source: https://unsplash.com/photos/ngMtsE5r9eI

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