The holiday season that showers customers with a ton of offers, especially Black Friday and Cyber Monday has just started and a lot of people might have purchased new smart gadgets, including smart TVs. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has warned customers to be aware of smart TVs as they can be spying on you.
The law enforcement agency mentions features like built-in cameras and microphones that are prone to intrusion. The press release goes on to state that people buying smart TVs are risking their privacy not only to the TV manufacturer and app developers but also to hackers.
“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.”, states the FBI warning.
FBI has also mentioned a few measures that you should follow to stay safe, of which the primary step involves educating yourself all the features your TV offers. In order to do so, the FBI suggests performing a web search along with your TV’s model number followed by words like “microphone”, “camera”, and “privacy.”
The agency recommends changing the default passwords of the smart TV if an option to do so is available. Customers are also advised to gain the technical know-how to disable microphones and cameras. In case you want to turn off the camera but your TV doesn’t have an option to do it, the good-old technique of placing black tape over the camera is recommended.
Before making a purchase decision, the FBI recommends you to check if the TV manufacturer has a track record of updating the device with security patches so that you can stay secure.