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FBI warns of security concerns with new Smart TVs

How a local expert says you can prevent hacking
Posted at 10:30 PM, Dec 14, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-14 22:51:08-05

SPRING LAKE, Mich. — Smart TVs are a popular gift this holiday season, but the FBI is warning about some security concerns that come with the new tech.

TVs are not just TVs anymore, they are essentially computers that are hooked up to the internet, making them vulnerable to hacking.

The FBI is warning the new Smart TV you bought, could be spying on you.

Many new models have cameras, microphones and an internet connection, which can give hackers a way into your home.

FOX 17 spoke with Computer Programmer Sam Ventocilla at Ace Communications in Spring Lake.

Ventocilla says buyers should be aware of the features in any Smart TV they buy and take steps to make sure they’re secure before using them.

“If you want to really shut it down, you can put black tape over the camera. Secondly, you want to check in the settings and see if there are microphones and turn them off," Ventocilla said.

Those options can be found in the TV’s settings menu, under "privacy," where users can also turn off data sharing.

Smart TVs also require software updates, experts say they should be downloaded frequently.

They often include security patches, which further protect data and personal information.

“If you really want to look into it, you see should check and see if the TV manufacturer that you are thinking about buying does software updates. If they don’t, you might want to consider getting a different TV,” Ventocilla said.

“You have convenience and you have security and often times as you get more of one, you lose more of the other,” he added.