How to keep your Smart TV safe | Jobs Reply


Having a Smart TV in your home is a lot of convenience and fun. You can connect to web browsers, stream your favorite shows with apps like Netflix and Hulu, and even play video games while chatting with friends online.

But with all that fun comes the risk factors of hackers and malware trying to invade your device, just as they could with a Smartphone or computer.

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Can my Smart TV be hacked?

The short answer is yes. But before you get too worried, it’s important to know that Smart TVs are less likely to be hacked than your other Smart devices. Many Smart TVs don’t come with camera or microphone features, so hackers are usually less interested in trying to break into those devices because they wouldn’t be able to spy on your home. But those hackers who might be trying to install malware on your TV are a different story.

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Is my Smart TV at risk from malware?

Any Smart device can be infected with malware, but again, Smart TVs are not usually the devices that suffer this inconvenience. Although it has happened in the past with both Samsung and Apple TVs, those cases are extremely rare, and here’s why:

It is very difficult to make a virus that will work on a Smart TV

Operating systems on a Smart TV are very different to a phone or computer. Smart TVs are unable to write any kind of code on the chip systems they are designed for, which means a malware writer would have to write entirely new code for that TV to allow the malware to take over. In short, it’s a long and difficult process that most malware writers haven’t had the time to execute.

Smart TVs have digital signatures

Malware doesn’t use any digital signatures, but Smart TVs do every time their firmware is updated. Therefore, if malware appeared on your Smart TV, the device would ignore it, and it would not be able to do anything harmful. And the next time your TV’s firmware is updated again, a new code would come with the update and remove all the malware.

Malware would not have access to your Smart TV

If your Smart TV has a camera and microphone feature, then you are more at risk of getting spyware malware. But if it does not, in fact there is not much for the malware to access except the TV settings and configuration files, which most malware writers are not interested in anyway.

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Steps to Protect Your Smart TV

Although the chances of your Smart TV being hacked or infected with malware are relatively low, there are still steps to take to ensure extra protection to stay safe:

Disable ads and tracking on your Smart TV

Disabling ads and tracking on your Smart TV will largely prevent your TV from collecting data about you and the content you’re watching. Here’s how to disable that feature on Samsung, LG, and Vizio TVs:

Samsung

  • Go to Settings > Support > Terms & Privacy > Privacy Options
  • Select View Information Services to disable Automated Content Recognition (ACR).
  • Select Voice Recognition Services to adjust voice data collection

LG

  • Go to Settings > Additional Settings > General
  • Select Live Plus to disable Automatic Content Recognition (ACR).
  • Select Ads and change the setting to “Don’t Sell My Personal Information”
  • Review the terms of use and privacy policy and then opt out of View Info, Voice Info, Interest-Based & Cross-Device Advertising, and Live Plus Automatic Content Recognition

Vizio

  • Go to Settings > Administration & Privacy
  • Select View Details to turn off Automated Content Recognition (ACR).
  • Select Advertising to adjust ad tracking

Disable camera settings and voice recognition

Most Smart TVs don’t come with built-in microphones and cameras, but there is a way to turn those features off for the brands that do.

Samsung

  • Go to Settings > Support > Terms & Policies
  • Go to Voice Recognition Services and select Off
  • Some Samsung models come with retractable cameras in the middle of the device. Gently push it back without touching the lens until you hear it click to turn it off

LG

  • Go to Settings > All Settings > General
  • Select User Agreements
  • Disable the Voice Notification setting
  • Some LG TV models come with retractable cameras. Always keep the lens pressed down

Other Smart TV brands may come with external cameras. Make sure they are always unplugged.

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