DIY

Criminals can use your Smart TV to steal your information, here’s how to protect yourself

March 15th, 2021

The joys of television!

Once upon a time we sat in front of electronic boxes and positioned antennas to pick up the best signal for classic shows like Mary Tyler Moore, The Andy Griffith Show or Twilight Zone.

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A. Davey Source: A. Davey

Then somewhere down the line technology changed and we didn’t need the antennas.

We tossed our boxes out altogether eventually then the VCR’s and replaced them with flat screens and DVD players with the promise of a better viewing experience.

We were modern, sleek and far from old-fashioned.

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cottonbro Source: cottonbro

Then along came the Smart TV, rather quickly comparatively, and we thought “hey, why not!?”

We jumped on board with the idea that we could easily stream our favorite Netflix and Amazon Prime shows, once our grandson connected us, and still switch to watch our favorite shows with our cable plans.

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cottonbro Source: cottonbro

We didn’t know that this newfound viewing pleasure brought with it the risk of giving up too much information to bad guys.

We can’t blame the grandkids or children because they didn’t know either!

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Freddy Olsson - Flickr Source: Freddy Olsson - Flickr

So how exactly do hackers get your details from your Smart TV?

Most new Smart TVs come set to a default password of something very easy to guess like “1234,” “0000” or “admin.” Since your television is likely connected to your home network WiFi, this gives hackers access to all of your devices through your WiFi connection. From here they can connect to any device and get your passwords or log what you’re typing.

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Konrad Twardowski Source: Konrad Twardowski

If you happen to have a smart camera on your television, it becomes even more invasive as these hackers can watch you and your family and listen all of your conversations.

They can hear when you told your husband what you really think of the new neighbors, or worse, when you gave the banker on the phone your social security number.

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_mixer_ Source: _mixer_

They can also do more insidious things like change passwords to lock you out, mess with your volume or change the channel on your television or any number of things that will make you think you’ve gone mad.

Today, you will become the TV tech wizard of your family.

You’ll learn 6 easy ways to protect them from the dangers of hackers who use your Smart TV to steal in your information.

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Andrew Skudder - Flickr Source: Andrew Skudder - Flickr

Here’s how you can protect yourself. We recommend calling your internet service provider or ask to ask the kids how to do any of these if you aren’t sure. Better safe than sorry!

1. Change the default password

Make the default password on your SmartTV something hard to guess. Be sure to make this password different from what you use on other devices. This will add a first layer of protection against hackers.

2. Use your second Wi-Fi connection

You probably didn’t know that most internet routers have the ability to create 2 WiFi Networks. Go ahead and use this to help protect your devices.

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Andrea Piacquadio - Pexels
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Andrea Piacquadio - Pexels

How?

You’ll setup one WiFi conection to be just 1 for your entertainment smart devices and the other for your computers. This will keep your data separated and will allow a hacker only access to information that is not sensitive if your TV is ever hacked.

Call your internet provider for help on how to do this or ask the kids or someone you trust!

3. Place tape over the camera and microphones

If you want an added layer of precaution, locate the camera and microphones on your SmartTV and place a piece of masking tape over them. While this isn’t exactly fool-proof it does add an extra layer or protection.

4. Avoid placing your Smart TV in private places like your bedroom

“Are you watching the TV or is the TV watching you?” This used to be a fun little quip for anyone who fell asleep in front of the television. Now it’s a reality. Play it safe and keep your television in a room where you don’t mind being watched just in case.

5. Turn off the Wi-Fi

If you don’t use the WiFi on your television or use another streaming solution that doesn’t require WiFi, there is no need to have your television connected. Turn this off and your hacking issues are resolved.

6. Use 2-Factor Authentication

This often pops-up on the screen if it’s offered on your device. It simply means the device will ask you to identify yourself using 2 unique pieces of information. This adds a double layer of protection for you and your device.

In case you missed it, be sure to learn more about the FBI’s warning by watching the video below!

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

Source: Wizer, CBS News, News 5 Cleveland

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