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FBI Warns Consumers About Smart TV Cyber Security Issues

If you own a smart television – or are thinking of buying one over the holidays, be forewarned that your new device could be used to hack into your home computer network and spy on you.

In a recent statement released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), smart TVs allow users to browse the web via their internet connection and watch shows from their favorite streaming platforms like Hulu, fuboTV and DisneyPlus. You can even watch YouTube videos that stream directly to your TV monitor.

Smart TVs also come with a variety of custom features, such as voice commands, that can be used to change channels or adjust the volume.

However, smart TVs are equipped with microphones, cameras and facial recognition technology and are often not secured by their manufacturers, at least not to the extent computers or smartphones are protected. For this reason, smart TVs are vulnerable to cybercriminals who are looking to hack into your home router. A smart television can also be a gateway for hackers to access your home, according to the FBI announcement, which came right before the Black Friday holiday shopping weekend.

Cyber hackers could potentially change your channels, adjust the volume and show your kids inappropriate videos. But they also can turn on the camera and microphone to cyberstalk you. The new technology, combined with security vulnerabilities make smart TVs a real risk for cyber hacking. There have been instances of cybercriminals talking to babies via their monitors and mining bitcoin via cyber jacking.

Smart TVs are able to collect and store a massive amount of data about viewer’s preferences and habits, including information about favorite programming. The FBI warned that smart TV owners should understand the features installed on their sets and know how to disable them if the need arises. The bureau also recommended changing your password frequently and taping over the camera when not in use.

Another important preventative measure consumers should implement is to install software updates promptly. Smart TV owners who keep their TV updated don’t have much to worry about because updates protect against known security issues, but if you are still concerned, consider unplugging your TV from

At Lanier Upshaw, we invite you to explore the upside of risk. We offer insurance policies to help you protect your home, auto and business against cyber security risk and other types of challenges you may face. Contact us here to learn more…