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How Your Smart TV Could Be At Risk to Hacking

Your smart TV’s connection to the internet makes it vulnerable to hacking. Learn how your TV might be at risk and how you can minimize that risk.

We trust our smart devices to make our lives easier by remembering our personal information and preferences to complete specific tasks. Our smart TVs are becoming more like our computers: we can download apps, stream content, play videos games, share photos, video-message family and friends, and browse the internet. While these features might seem great, they can actually help make smart TVs more vulnerable to hackers. Even worse, the vulnerability of our smart TVs could jeopardize the safety of any devices we have connected to the same Wi-Fi network.

Another Way to Spy

Just like your smartphone or laptop, your smart TV may have a built-in camera or microphone. These features are usually used when playing games, but can also be used for video-chatting. Unfortunately they also offer another way your smart TV can be hacked, thus allowing for hackers to spy on you.

Read More: Cybersecurity Threats You Should Watch for in 2016

Smart TVs Receive Fewer Updates

Unlike your smartphone or laptop, your smart TV can’t be protected in the same way against security threats. With a laptop or smartphone, you’ll receive more frequent security updates and bug fixes than with your smart TV. You can also download antivirus software to protect your device, and customize and control how your device behaves — options that aren’t really available on your TV. This means that your smart TV is already at a greater risk, because it is less protected.

We Trust Our Smart TVs

Think about the information you trust your smart TV with. At a minimum, you’ll have stored your account information and a method of payment for any content you want to purchase. Then you might have all of your account information, plus additional payment options for all of the streaming services you subscribe to, among other things. While some of this information is required for use of your smart TV, it’s a good idea to not add more personal information than necessary. This goes for online shopping too — it’s much safer to shop on your computer than on your TV.

How to Protect Your Smart TV

Stay up to date on your smart TV’s software to ensure that you receive all available security updates and bug fixes. Avoid online shopping on your TV, in addition to using the web browser for more sensitive information. As always, practice good password making habits for all of your accounts by creating complex, unique passwords for each account. In addition, stay up to date on the latest security threats and app updates so you can avoid downloading any suspicious looking apps.