How to prevent people from spying on you through your Smart TV in 5 steps

Smart TVs have become an element present in most homes; being able to connect our television to the Internet allows us to use streaming platforms, use applications and even surf the net in a very similar way to how we do it with the smartphone. However, that same connectivity has also made them a risk to our security and privacy , which can cause them to spy on us through our Smart TV. Do you know how you can avoid it?

Smart TVs are prone to risks

prevent people from spying on you through your Smart TV

Currently, most households have a Smart TV (over time, its price has been lowered and becoming more popular), however, few users, once they have connected it to the network, worry about configuring settings related to security and privacy , just as they would on your computer. Because if; cybersecurity is not just a matter of our laptop, PC, device, or smartphone. It also has a lot to do with our television, and if it is Smart TV, much more. For this reason, and although a priori it does not have as many systems as the rest of the tools could have. they also become prone to security flaws. All in all, it’s popular that TV manufacturers and app developers hear us and see us, but there is a potentially more dangerous threat than this. We are talking about, for example, hackers who gain access to and sometimes even control your TV and change certain settings. So you can do it.

How to do it

As such, it is not that it is more fragile than other devices, but it may turn out that it has a configuration that is not as secure as we can have with our mobile, for example. As always, it depends on our use and how we use this Smart TV. At the same time, it is true that we will have more risks in case of using applications of dubious reliability , downloading series or movies from pirated websites, inserting memories or pen drives that we have used in shared computers, etc. The advantage is that most users do not navigate with their TV and hardly download applications, they only use the ones that come by default and that means that we are not in danger in most cases. But, equally, it is necessary to have a security that ensures that they cannot spy on us under any circumstances.

Configure privacy and security

When it comes to managing our privacy, we must pay attention to an important functionality of our Smart TV: ACR or Automatic Content Recognition. Normally it appears activated by default and what it does is collect and analyze images, sounds and data to create a user database and show us, for example, advertising according to needs and preferences. To deactivate the ACR you can take different measures. The most drastic but least recommended would be to disconnect the device from the internet at the cost of losing access, for example, to all the streaming platforms to which you are subscribed. This would be a full-fledged return to the time when watching television did not entail any risk.Configuración seguridad Smart TV After having deactivated it, what we can do is configure that privacy and security that we have in these four steps that we show you.

  • Understand the features of your Smart TV and how you can limit them. It starts with a basic internet search for your model number and the words ‘microphone’, ‘camera’ or ‘privacy’. For example, choose to search for ‘LG smart TV 55LA8600 privacy’.
  • Don’t stick with default security settings . Change passwords if possible and learn how to disable microphones, cameras, and personal data collection. If that’s not possible, consider buying a different TV.
  • Place a piece of black tape or thick cardboard over the camera lens. Although it may seem ridiculous, you can opt for this homemade technique.
  • Be careful with flash drives or external memories. If you use an external hard drive or USB drive make sure it is not infected. If you have used that same device to print documents in a public center or if you have used it on work or college computers, format it before inserting it into the television or check that there are no dangerous files. You may get malware to Smart TV through this medium.
  • Check if the manufacturer offers security patches . Has a security patch been published in the past to prevent the exploitation of vulnerabilities? If possible, choose to install the automatic software update on the rest of your devices.