Technology

ANONYMOUS: ‘Your Smart TV Is Watching You’

This is terrifying but with a few simple steps it can be minimized or avoided altogether…

Before the Presidential Election of 2016, I was less inclined to pay close attention to Anonymous. I believed that the hacktivist group had good intentions though, like many, I thought that the information that they presented was sometimes questionable. I thought of it as conspiracy theory.

Now that the election is over and I have seen Anonymous proven correct time and time again, I have a different view. These guys tend to be right about things. Of course, I consider the information they present and compare it with other sources. Ultimately, I decide for myself, and some things merit more attention.

Consider this video on smart televisions. Smart, internet-cable tv’s are great, but they can be exploited. Take a look:

If you are concerned that your television is watching you, there are some things that you can do to protect yourself.

First, you can simply avoid connecting your Smart TV to the internet. If you have already entered your WiFi password into your television, try to go into the settings and erase it. You may have to reset the television back to its factory settings to remove the password.

Did you know that some Samsung Smart TVs are able to embed extra advertisements based on things that you watch? By disabling WiFi, you can avoid that.

Streaming boxes, like Apple TV, Roku, Fire TV, or one of the others, can be more secure than a Smart TV. These boxes can be connected to the Internet but do not have cameras and microphones that can be used against you.

You may be able to “toggle” your televisions network and spy settings, but the process is tricky. HotToGeek reports:

If you do want to leave it connected to the network, you could try to disable the spying features. This will be a different process on different models of TVs.

Worse yet, just toggling the option may not do anything. Even if you don’t agree to Vizio’s privacy policy when setting up the TV, Vizio still enables the snooping features on your TV. Disabling the spying features may also not prevent the TV from being exploited through its security holes. New spying features could be automatically added in firmware updates.

If you really want to disable the spying features instead, you’ll find them somewhere in your TV’s settings menu. On Vizio TVs, this setting is named “Smart Interactivity” and it may be buried under System > Reset & Admin. Here are Vizio’s instructions for disabling it.

LG smart TVs may have a “Collection of watching info” setting. On some Samsung smart TVs, you can head into a “Smart Features” menu and disable “Voice recognition” to disable always-listening voice commands. Other smart TVs from other manufacturers may have many different settings named different things from model to model.

Are you concerned about the threat of your Smart TV spying on you?

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