Can A Smart TV Be Hacked? Protecting Our Privacy is Top Priority

Can A Smart TV Be Hacked

The problem with smart online technology is that it can get hacked. You may have strong and complex passwords, but hackers can find a way. So, can smart TV be hacked too?

Smart TV can be hacked due to a lack of security, virus malfunctions, and outdated firmware. Hackers can access your data and control your microphone, camera, and subscription apps. They can even change TV and app settings. 

You must take preventative measures and disable any internal or external webcams when you don’t need them.

This article discusses how hackers can hack your smart TV.

It also explains how to improve your TV’s security.  

How Can a Smart TV Be Hacked?

If you are asking yourself, can a smart TV be hacked?

The answer is yes. However, hacking a smart TV isn’t that common.

This makes us complacent, and we don’t do anything to add extra security to the TV.

The lack of security makes it easier for hackers to hack into your TV and violate your privacy. 

We must understand that smart TVs are like any other smart device.

They use an operating system and connect to the internet.

Any device on the web is susceptible to hacking. 

A virus in the system also exposes you to hackers.

Web browsing and certain websites can infect your smart TV with a virus.

This compromises your TV’s security, giving hackers access to data such as your browsing history, passwords, and private information. 

How Can Smart TV Hacking Hurt You?

Hacking allows hackers to access your personal information and manipulate your TV settings.

Let’s see how they may access your data.

Through Subscription Apps

Many subscription apps have app trackers that collect information about you.

Streaming services such as Netflix and HBO track your streaming preferences and gather other types of data. 

Why do they do it? To personalize your experience!

They track the kind of shows you watch and offer recommendations.

Websites like YouTube use the customers’ data to generate better ad revenue. They show you personalized ads based on your preferences and geographical location.  

If this data gets into the wrong hands, hackers can access the subscription apps on your smart TV.

So, whatever information you store in these apps (name, phone number, credit card details) will be at risk.

Through the TV Camera 

Getting hacked through your TV’s camera and microphone is one of the scariest experiences.

Hackers hack into the system using malware.

They can access your camera, spy on you, and see what’s happening in your household. 

It is even more dangerous if the smart TV is in your bedroom.

Hackers can use these video clips for blackmail and extortion.

Not all smart TVs have an in-built camera though.

Thus, the TVs with an in-built camera and those that connect to external webcams need to have higher security. 

Through Social Media Accounts

When you use social media accounts on your TV, you leave information such as your passwords, phone number, or email address on the TV.

Hackers can access this data through your accounts.

They can also look at your chats, photos, and other personal details. 

Social media account hacking gives hackers access to all your friend lists and puts their accounts at risk too. 

How To Know Your Smart TV Is Hacked?

You don’t have to be tech-savvy to tell if your smart TV is home to hackers. Look out for the below signs to know if someone else has been meddling with your TV.

  • Changes in your TV settings: Hackers can access your TV settings and fiddle with them. Thus, it could be the hacker’s doing if your volume starts going up and down or your screen turns brighter than before. 
  • Check for suspicious video files: You must check your TV’s storage folder regularly. If you find any unusual video files, such as webcam videos, you may want to increase your TV’s security. 
  • Check your apps: Many streaming apps show your streaming time. You can even check the last time you streamed. So, if you see a timestamp you don’t recognize, it could be a hacker enjoying the show. Another thing to do is to look at your video recommendations. Any unfamiliar video recommendations, and it’s time to change the password. 
  • Check for unauthorized purchases: Call your bank and check for any unusual purchases. It is important to check for such purchases if you have subscription apps and use your TV to shop online. 

How To Protect Smart TV From Hackers

You can’t install antivirus software on your TV as you do with your computer. However, you can take several preventative measures to increase your TV’s security. 

Choose Stronger Passwords 

This is the first thing you need to do. Change all the passwords on your apps, social media accounts, email, etc. Make sure to choose stronger ones that will be harder for novice hackers to crack. Additionally, always have different passwords for all your apps.

Keep the Camera Off

Always keep the video camera and microphone on your TV off. This goes for both in-built and external devices. When you aren’t using them, there isn’t any need to keep the cameras on. You must even disable the settings if your TV has an in-built camera. Besides, there are ways to enjoy a webcam without the internet.

Use Ethernet for the Internet 

Wi-Fi is easier to hack into than an ethernet cable connection.

Hackers can interrupt signals or even change passwords, which allows them to control your Wi-Fi.

So, it’s a good idea to switch to an ethernet connection if you have any reason to believe your smart TV is hacked. 

Keep the Firmware Updated

An outdated TV firmware can make hacking easier.

You must constantly update your software whenever the developer rolls out any updates. The newer features add to your TV’s security.

The updates also remove viruses or loopholes in the older version that might make the operating system vulnerable to hacking.  

Secure the Router

You can secure the router by protecting it with strong passwords.

Another good idea is to enable your router’s VPN.

Doing so adds an encryption layer to all the data that goes through the device.

The extra security layer makes it difficult to crack codes and access private data. 

So, can smart TV be hacked if you take all these preventative measures?

Probably yes, but the chances of their success will be far much less. 

Can A Smart TV Be Hacked? Conclusion 

Smart TV hacking isn’t that common, but it can happen.

The most significant risk is a hacked camera that gives hackers access to your intimate or personal information. 

To confirm the existence of a possible breach, look for signs such as changed passwords, unusual time stamps on streaming apps, and unauthorized transactions. 

Fortunately, there are ways to increase your TV’s security.

Constantly update your TV firmware to eliminate all security risks and vulnerabilities. 

Nelson Barbosa

I'm an engineer in love with smart home tech. On my website, I share useful tips and tricks to help my readers get the most of their devices and make their lives simpler by adding just a drop of technology in everyday routines!

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