Thu. Nov 26th, 2020

FBI Issues Warning About Smart TVs

Do you own a smart TV? Or, did you buy one on Black Friday? If so, the FBI has a warning for you.


In a blog post, the FBI’s Portland field office warned that smart TVs could be vulnerable to hackers.

“Beyond the risk that your TV manufacturer and app developers may be listening and watching you, that 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,” wrote the FBI


And, worst-case scenario, the FBI says hackers can take control of your TV, ultimately controlling what you watch. Or worse, they can use your camera and microphone to “silently cyberstalk you.”


Although attacks on smart TVs are rare, they aren’t unheard of.


So, to protect yourself, the FBI recommends these tips:

  • Learn what features your TV has and how to control those features, like the camera, microphone and access to personal information.
  • Don’t depend on the standard security settings. Check passwords if you can.
  • If you can’t turn off the camera, you can simply place a piece of black tape over the camera’s eye.
  • Check the manufacturer’s ability to update your device’s security software.
  • Check the privacy policy for the TV and the streaming services you use, like what data they collect and how they store it.