- Jul 13, 2017
My AV System
- Preamp, Processor or Receiver
- NAD T-777
- Universal / Blu-ray / CD Player
- Oppo 103 Blu Ray Player
- Front Speakers
- 7 Paradigm Reference series 8" in ceiling speakers
- 2 Paradigm SE Subs
- Other Speakers or Equipment
- Nintendo Wii U Gaming Console
- Video Display Device
- Samsung UN75F8000 LED TV
- Remote Control
- Universal Remote MX-450
- Other Equipment
- Sony PS4 Gaming Console, Panamax MR-5100 Surge
Smart TVs are like regular television sets but with an internet connection. With the advent and growth of Netflix, Hulu and other streaming services, most saw internet-connected televisions as a cord-cutter's dream. But like anything that connects to the internet, it opens up smart TVs to security vulnerabilities and hackers. Not only that, many smart TVs come with a camera and a microphone. But as is the case with most other internet-connected devices, manufacturers often don't put security as a priority.
That's the key takeaway from the FBI's Portland field office, which just ahead of some of the biggest shopping days of the year posted a warning on its website about the risks that smart TVs pose.
"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.
Hackers can also take control of your unsecured TV. At the low end of the risk spectrum, they 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.
TVs and technology are a big part of our lives, and they aren’t going away. So how can you protect your family?
As always, 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."
- 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?