A new survey by the research group Hub Entertainment Research reveals that around 70 percent of U.S households have at least 1 smart TV and smart TVs make up over half of all TV sets in the home. That’s over 86 million homes in the country with a television connected to the internet.
There are obvious advantages to having a connected TV (no need for a separate streaming device, and the ability to connect to a web browser on the largest screen in the house), but these smart TVs also give hackers another route into your home and personal information.
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In 2018, Consumer Reports warned about certain Samsung and Roku TV models being vulnerable to hackers. But before you decide to unplug your smart TV from the internet, there are a few things you can do to protect yourself.
Some smart TVs have cameras and microphones. Many manufacturers discontinued their models but Samsung still offers a few TVs with built-in cameras and mics. These TVs allow consumers to make Skype or other FaceTime-type calls to their friends and family. There’s some concern though that the mic and camera could “spy” on people if a hacker successfully connects to it.
If you suspect your TV might have a camera and microphone you should check around the edges for the camera. A microphone will be a smaller hole next to the camera. Again though, you likely won’t find a camera but if you do, you can cover it with a piece of tape. You might be able to disable them in settings.