Are You Watching the T.V. Or Is It Listening or Watching You?
Technology has been able to make everyday tasks a lot easier and in a lot of cases more convenient. With modern technology we can work from home, order groceries, or face time a relative who’s far away. While it’s hard to imagine a world without such conveniences we need to ask the question: How safe are we? Last week we took a look at how secure our Amazon Alexa’s and Google Home’s are and this week we’ll look at how our very own smart T.V.s can put our security in danger.
We’ve come a long way since the black and white Televisions of the 1940’s. Instead of only having a few channels today’s “Smart T.V.s” can provide access to literally thousands of channels and have hundreds of unique apps you can download to watch the content you like. With the tap of a button you can open Netflix, Disney+, or Hulu and watch hundreds of movies and shows.
But Just how safe are they? In 2019 the FBI warned that when buying a new Smart T.V. It is important to recognize the risks that come with them. The FBI warns that these Smart T.V.s still have to connect to your internet to function which in turn can be a gateway into letting hackers into your systems.
Beth Anne Steele, an agent for the FBI in Portland, states that “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.” This shows that a potential breach in just your television could result in much bigger issues for your private data. Some companies such as Samsung or LG have been found to collect and send user data to other tech firms. While this is most likely used for marketing purposes it is scary to think about just how much information your T.V. has collected about you.
Additionally, some televisions are equipped with cameras and microphones installed to allow for video calling. This could leave room for cyber criminals to watch and listen in without you even knowing. While this may seem like something out of George Orwell’s 1984 it is entirely possible for attackers to accomplish. This means that you must take extra steps to make sure your smart devices are secured.
How Do I Protect Myself?
The FBI recommends looking into the settings of your T.V. to see what you can or cannot limit. See if it is possible to turn off data collection to avoid your sensitive data being leaked. You can also make sure that your device is always up to date on the latest security patch. Oftentimes hackers will find exploits in previous software versions and updating your devices can make sure you have the best protection.
In order to avoid unwanted cyber stalkers research whether or not you T.V. has a camera or microphone system and whether or not you can disable it. At the end of the day a small piece of tape can be an old fashioned yet viable solution. Lastly it is important that before you buy any device do some research into how the developers handle cybersecurity and what features may be exploitable on what you’re about to buy.
When it comes to convenience, make sure you aren’t gambling with you security!
Corporate Information Technologies provides small to mid-market organizations with expert I.T. services including compliance assessment, cybersecurity penetration tests, and comprehensive business continuity planning services. Corporate Information Technologies can help organizations, quantify, create, refine, and mitigate the risks presented by business threatening disasters in whatever form they may be disguised.
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