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FBI Warns Consumers About Their Smart TV’s Security Vulnerabilities

When people go out and upgrade their television, they expect to get a good deal and a better version of what they had from before. What they didn’t expect is, their television might be spying on them.

Having a Smart TV allows someone to have an internet connection with their television set. This allows someone to watch all their favorite shows on services, such as Netflix and Hulu among others. 

There are questions about the very securities associated with having a Smart television. Many might not know that Smart TV’s come with both a camera and a microphone built in. This opens up the window of privacy in someone’s home.

Other modern devices are questionable as well. People are losing their personal privacy more so than they even realize. One can only wonder whether or not this will become more of a trend soon enough?

FBI Warns Consumers About Their Smart TV’s Security Vulnerabilities
Image: Humans Are Free

Many manufacturers are only out to make a quick buck at the expense of the consumers. These same manufacturers are not concerned about people’s privacy either.

One Portland, Oregon branch of the FBI even put up a notice to consumers warning them about the security and the risks that smart TV’s 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,” wrote the FBI.

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Ironically, another division of the government The Central Intelligence Agency (The CIA), helped develop the the biggest exploits targeting Smart TV’s in recent times.

There is a great amount of tracking data collected from people who bought and continue to use their Smart television. Sources such as The Washington Post, did report that smart television manufacturers such as Samsung and LG collect quite a bit of information from their users. This includes but is not limited to what they watch and what is suggested to them in forms of advertising.

The FBI have even warned that hackers can take control of your unsecured smart TV. And in some cases these hackers could gain control of both the microphone and camera listening to people in the “privacy” of their own home. Earlier this year, hackers showed it was possible to hijack Google’s Chromecast streaming stick and broadcast random videos to thousands of victims as well. 

While this continues to become a problem. Television manufacturers such as Vizio have paid fines in excess of $2.2 million dollars as they were caught secretly collecting customers data. A separate class action lawsuit was filed related to the tracking that Vizio enabled. 

According to the FBI, they suggest using black tape over any unused smart television cameras to help keep away prying eyes. Also, make sure that the televisions software is up to date with the latest patches and fixes made available. 

Consumers should also read the privacy policy on their television to understand what the device is capable of. As a last resort, the most secure thing to do is sell or get rid of your Smart television altogether if possible. 

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(Source: Humans Are Free)

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