Your smart TV could be spying on you, warns FBI

We live in a world where we’ve become rather paranoid about smart home devices spying on us. That said, it hasn’t stopped us from buying these devices. Most smart home devices need to be connected to the internet to function properly. And any device connected to the Internet is susceptible to hacking. One such area of growing concern is the category of smart TVs, which according to industry experts, can really track what we watch and show relevant ads based on what we watch.

Now, the FBI has also come out with a post warning users of the security risks associated with a smart TV. The investigative authority explained in a post how smart TVs have become a potential target for hackers, just like any device connected to the Internet. That said, a majority of tech-savvy users might find FBI’s warnings more or less common security practices, but for non-tech savvy users, these recommendations certainly come in handy.

“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,the FBI explained in a post.

The federal investigative body essentially wants users to take note of their product’s terms of service. These warnings are pretty much directed at people who have a difficult time finding and understanding this information.

The country’s investigative authority also detailed a list of recommendations, which include changing the default security settings, verifying the data collection policies, and covering your smart TV camera with black tape.

Apart from being spied on by the companies, users are also afraid of being spied on by hackers who can possibly break into their smart home devices. There’s a legitimate fear around smart home devices for sure. Therefore, our advice for our readers would be to make sure that all of your devices are protected with a password, along with two-factor authentication enabled. Besides, users should buy smart home products from reputable brands, as most of the data stored on their servers gets encrypted.

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