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How to Protect Your Smart TV from Hackers

Jackie here. Computers can be hacked. Smart phones can be hacked. And believe it or not, smart TVs can be hacked too. If you have a smart TV you need to protect it from hackers, just like you would your computer. Here’s what you need to know.
Why Would I Care if a Hacker Accessed My Smart TV?
You might think that a hacker accessing your smart TV is no big deal. After all, what are they going to get, your Netflix history? In reality though, a smart TV can be a treasure trove of valuable information for thieves. If hacked your smart TV could potentially provide thieves with:

  • Visual and Sound Access to Your Home- Perfect for timing break-ins or spying on conversations.
  • Usernames and Passwords- Thieves may be able to hack information stored on the device, including usernames and passwords (another reason not to share passwords across accounts).
  • Other Computers- Computers that share a network with your smart TV could potentially be compromised, giving thieves access to everything on them.

Why Is My SmartTV at Risk?
Right now, the risk to your smart TV is pretty low, but it is expected to increase as the TVs become more popular. Often TV apps aren’t as secure as similar apps on a phone or computer, putting your TV at a heightened risk for a problem down the road. Just a few years ago, smartphones were considered un-hackable by many, but this is no longer the case.
How Can I Protect My Smart TV?
If you do have a smart TV, protect it with these tips:

  • Keep Up on Updates- Your TV manufacturer will occasionally release updates. Make sure you install them promptly as they are often designed to fix a security problem with your device.
  • Set Up Your Network Properly– Your smart TV is a part of your home network. Make sure your network is properly secured. Encrypt your router signal and choose a strong, secure password for your router. If your router has a firewall, use it.
  • Cover the Camera When Not in Use- Some smart TV cameras can be turned off or recessed into the TV when they aren’t in use. Otherwise, cover the camera with a piece of tape.
  • Be Careful with Unexpected Messages- If an unexpected message appears on your screen, especially one asking you to link to other devices or to enable a remote session, research before you accept. This could be a hacker trying to access your device.

For more tips check out this great article from the BBB and these smart TV tips from Samsung.

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