You might enjoy watching your smart TV, but what if your smart TV is watching you back? And it’s not just about tracking what you watch. Your TV might actually be listening to your conversations. Or maybe even watching you through its camera. That’s scary!
The TV manufacturer might be getting your information and using it for targeted advertising. But that’s not all. A research has found out that smart TVs can be hacked, thanks to their security flaws. So if someone needs to gain access to your personal life, all they have to do is hack your smart TV and learn all about you.
How to stay safe from smart TVs
Even if you turn off the mic or camera of the smart TV, there are security vulnerabilities that can let hackers spy on you. To make sure this doesn’t happen, follow these tips.
Get a dumb TV
Remember when TVs were simpler? You could watch the TV but the TV couldn’t watch you? Yeah, get one of those types. If you want to switch to a certain channel, you can use a remote. That’s not so difficult.
Instead of using your voice to tell the telly to switch to a particular channel, you do it using a remote.
Disadvantage: You need to move your fingers a bit
Advantage: You’ll stay safe from spying
But what if you already have a smart TV? Then what?
Make your Smart TV dumb
If you already have a smart TV, just stop its supply of connectivity. It won’t be able to send your data to its manufacturers, ad companies, or hackers if you just disconnect it from the internet. Because honestly, you rarely use the voice commands.
Sure, when the TV is new, everyone wants to use voice commands. But over the time, you just switch back to remotes since the TV doesn’t interpret voice commands correctly anyway.
So to disconnect the TV, just visit the settings and turn off its Wi-Fi capabilities.
But you do need Netflix on your TV, right? No problem at all. Just get a streaming box. Google Chromecast will play Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, and several other channels. Stuck on Amazon Prime? Get Amazon Fire TV Stick.
Turn off the smart settings
If you still want to use the internet on your TV, you’ll need to turn off the smart settings on your telly. And this will be different according to different brands.
For Samsung, disable SyncPlus and Marketing under Terms and Policy. For Vizio, you can turn off Smart Interactivity under Menu-> System-> Reset and Admin. Find the smart settings for your device and turn them off so it doesn’t listen to your conversations.