Hackers can take over your smart TV and ‘silently cyberstalk you’, FBI warns

They’re some of the most popular home devices around, but if you have a smart TV , it could be susceptible to hackers , according to a new report.

The FBI has warned that how easy it is for hackers to take over your smart TV and ‘silently cyberstalk you.’

In a new blog , the FBI said: “Hackers can also take control of your unsecured TV. 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.”

The FBI added that while hackers may not be able to access your locked-down smart TV directly, it’s possible that your TV can give him or her an easy way in the backdoor through your router.

While this is no doubt very concerning, thankfully there are several things you can do to protect your family:

1. Know your smart TV

The FBI said: "Know exactly what features your TV has and how to control those features. Do a basic Internet search with your model number and the words 'microphone,' 'camera,' and 'privacy.'


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2. Don’t depend on the default security settings

Make sure you know how to turn off the microphones, cameras and collection of personal information if you can.

The FBI added: "If you can’t turn them off, consider whether you are willing to take the risk of buying that model or using that service."


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3. Consider covering the camera

If you can't work out how to turn off your smart TV's camera, consider using a simple piece of black tape to cover the camera lens.

4. Check for security patches

Make sure you check the manufacturer's ability to update your device with security patches – these can help to protect your smart TV.

Finally, the FBI suggests that you not only check the privacy policy for your TV manufacturer, but also for any streaming services you use.

It added: "Confirm what data they collect, how they store that data, and what they do with it."

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