Is your smart TV spying on you? FBI shares tips on how to improve your digital defense

Getting a great deal on your TV for the holidays is a win, but if your digital defense isn’t in place, you could lose big.

The Oregon FBI said smart TVs spying on users is a real concern and that you should be taking steps to protect yourself.

Check out WTOP’s ‘Smart Holidays’ series for more tech safety advice

Smart TVs are connected to the internet and some use facial and voice recognition features, which means app developers or your TV manufacturer may be listening or watching.

It could also create a gateway for hackers who might be able to take control of your TV, giving them the power to change channels or show your kids inappropriate videos.

But there are ways to protect yourself.

Do an online search of your television’s model number and the word camera or privacy to better understand the features and how to control them. This will help you build a stronger digital defense.

Changing default security settings and passwords and confirming what kind of data your TV manufacturer collects is important as well as asking how they store it.

For TVs with cameras that don’t turn off, use black tape. If you haven’t made the purchase yet, you may want to consider a smart television with a camera that you’re able to control.

Melissa Howell

Melissa Howell joined WTOP Radio in March 2018 and is excited to cover stories that matter across D.C., as well as in Maryland and Virginia. 

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