Smart TVs, Security and the FBI
Did you go out on Black Friday and pick up a new television for the family? Chance are it was a “Smart TV.” Many TV manufacturers have jumped on the internet connected bandwagon to produce more convenience by including one-stop entertainment options in their products. However, in their rush for market share they prioritized convenience over security. Many of these newer smart TV models even include cameras, microphones. voice-recognition and even virtual assistant services to assist you in controlling many of its functions. However, just like anything that connects to the internet, these smart tvs are open to security vulnerabilities and hackers because they have the same features that users utilize on their laptop, tablet or smartphone. With each of these conveniences you are giving up privacy and security. When you use an internet connected, voice-enabled TV, what you are watching and searching is being tracked and that information is used to market to you in the forms of ads that are much more personal. Although you can turn off these tracking features it may not be a straightforward process. It’s smart to check the fine print before turning on or turning off features on your smart TV. Ads are one thing but the other problem that is far more serious is that these units can be hacked and used to spy on you or your family and to install malware that can steal private and personal information from you through your network connection. The FBI is warning everyone that they should take some time to acquaint themselves with the all risks associated with these devices.