60 percent of Americans have smart TVs but many remain unprotected
Almost 60 percent of Americans have smart TVs in their homes, yet almost one in four do nothing to protect their smart devices.
This is according to a new study by NordVPN which highlights a number of risks, including hackers being able to access a smart TV's camera and microphone through malware.
"Like any device that regularly connects to the internet, smart TVs collect a lot of private data, which leads to a variety of privacy and security concerns. But, unlike other smart devices, they cannot be equipped with the latest cybersecurity software (like antivirus), and that makes them even more vulnerable to cybercrime," says digital security expert from NordVPN, Daniel Markuson.
Tracking is another issue that users need to worry about. Like any smart device, TVs use a lot of trackers. Services like Netflix, Hulu, or HBO GO collect users' data and track their streaming behavior to personalize their experience on the platforms. But there's a risk of this data falling into the wrong hands.
If a smart TV is used to browse the web there's also a risk it can be infected with viruses. Like computers, smart TVs run on software, but they don't have the same strong antivirus and firewall systems installed. Once the TV is infected, all the browsing history, passwords, and other private data are potentially accessible to hackers.
To keep your smart TV safe it's recommended that you use strong passwords for the device and any apps, apply software updates as they become available, make sure you router is secure, and only use official app stores. Also if your TV has a camera you should turn it off or cover it when it's not in use.
You can read more about smart TV security on the NordVPN blog.