Your Smart TV could be spying on you, warns FBI

Consumers need to seriously think about their Internet-connect Smart TVs’ security, say the FBI.

“A number of the newer TV’s also have built-in cameras,” said the FBI’s Portland field office in a statement.

“In some cases, the cameras are used for facial recognition so the TV knows who is watching and can suggest programming appropriately.

“Beyond the risk that your TV manufacturer and app developers may be listening and watching you, that television can also be a gateway for hackers to come into your home,” added the FBI.

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“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.”

The FBI also warns hackers could also take over your unsecured TV.

“At the low end of the risk spectrum, they can change channels, play with the volume, and show your kids inappropriate videos. In a worst-case scenario, they can turn on your bedroom TV’s camera and microphone and silently cyberstalk you.”

The FBI urged consumers to do their homework and learn how to control features of their Smart TV, such as microphones and cameras. Smart TV owners shouldn’t rely on the TV’s default security settings.

“If you can’t turn off a camera but want to, a simple piece of black tape over the camera eye is a back-to-basics option,” said the FBI.

George Brownwell / Alberta Press Leader 

-george@albertapressleader.ca

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