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Is your Smart TV spying on you? Quick cybersecurity tips to protect your privacy.

With the latest technology in the world, including microphones and cameras, why is ‘Can my Smart TV spy on me?’ a lingering thought? Smart TVs are not just dumb screens that you considered them to be. They can be used to spy on you not just from the government or hackers, but from the manufacturers of the devices too.

Manufacturers offer the most convenient services to you. This includes the voice command options and video calls on Smart TVs. They also manufacture these devices in a way that Smart TVs offer all the latest features and the most incredible apps. They let you play games, talk to your family, or stream Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime anytime you want. But, they cost you your privacy, and like all devices that offer these services need to be protected, your Smart TV does too.

Smart TVs can easily be hacked, just like any device. In the same way, your TV can be used to snoop on your activity and hear what you’re talking about. If your TV offers a camera, then the hacker might also be able to pry on what you do at home throughout the day.

The best solution to prevent all this is using a cybersecurity tool on your device. While there exist many of these, an effective one is the use of a VPN.

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is one effective way to stay secure from your Smart TV’s snooping. A VPN would encrypt your device, preventing all kinds of trespassing. But that doesn’t mean you go for any VPN for your Smart TV.

While many VPNs exist globally, not every VPN will be super-reliable to keep you secure. Therefore, it’s appropriate to test the service first.

You can always go for a premium VPN like NordVPN for this. This VPN also offers a free trial to help you test out the service risk-free. So, if you’re looking to check out its features first, then visit its website and claim NordVPN’s free trial.

How can your Smart TV spy on you?

Your Smart TV spies on you in the following ways:

1. ACR technology (learn how to turn off ACR):

Smart TVs collect your data through Automatic Content Recognition (ACR) technology. ACR tends to track all your streaming activities over the Smart TV. It monitors your streaming preferences, what type of content you prefer, and how much time you spend binging. This data is then sent to the manufacturer of the device.

While this doesn’t sound too scary, some manufacturers would sell this harmless data to advertisers.

2. Smart TV camera (spying through videos):

Your Smart TV camera is handy to you, but it’s also pretty useful for hackers and manufacturers. Your Smart TV camera gives a spy direct access to your home and lets them snoop on everything you’re doing. It might also let them be the third wheel in all your video conferences due to the unencrypted connection.

3. Smart TV microphone (spying by hearing conversations):

This is another common way to spy on someone through Smart TV. Enabled microphones would let anyone just listen to what you’re talking about at home or in your Skype calls.

Tips to protect yourself from spying:

1. Don’t rely on any default settings and alter them:

You need to know that the default settings of a Smart TV are set according to the tracking needs of the Smart TV. In this case, you need to play smart and alter the default settings of the TV.

You might want to go through its privacy policy and check what type of data you want the device to collect, thereby customizing the settings according to your needs.

To prevent this, you need to stop relying on the default settings that your Smart TV brought along and decide how you want it to be.

2. Get a VPN for additional security and privacy:

Out of all the mainstream personal cybersecurity tools, the most reliable option to stay encrypted and not let anyone over the internet snoop on you is a Virtual Private Network for added security on your Smart TV.

If you don’t know, a VPN is not only to access geo-restricted sites but also prevents you from cyberattacks. VPNs are known to keep you safe and encrypted over the internet.

They create a tunnel between you and the service you’re visiting or streaming and do not let anyone snoop in, whether it be a hacker, your Internet Service Provider (ISP), or the government.

Therefore, to prevent yourself from the Smart TV snooping and hacking scenario, you should get a premium VPN for this. One reliable VPN is NordVPN.

3. Try to cut the camera by using tape:

One thing you should take care of is the camera present on your Smart TV. If you have a Smart TV with a camera, you need to find your way around and disable it.

However, a way to be protected from this is by putting a small piece of black tape on your Smart TV camera. While it sounds like a completely dumb idea, this is one of the easiest ways to remain safe and sound.

You never know when your camera gets hacked and what is being displayed to the hackers. It might be you talking about your day or revealing your personal information or bank details to anyone on the phone. In this case, the spies would know it all.

Conclusion

Yes, your Smart TV spies on you like all other devices these days. The data collected can be sold to third parties and used against you anytime. Smart TV can also be an easy device for hackers or manufacturers to snoop in. The sad reality is, all iOT devices have their privacy issues. It’s a known fact.

Therefore, you need the best preventive measures to remain completely safe and secure. Amongst all cybersecurity methods, a VPN is one reliable option to stay protected. NordVPN can be a good option for this if you want to remain encrypted over the internet.

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