For years, experts have been warning about the dangers of using bank passwords and other important personal data on smart mobile phones, due to the existence of malicious software that serves cybercriminals to commit their crimes. However, smart TVs work very similarly to a mobile, so they can be the new gateway for so-called hackers. For this reason, we have gathered in this article some keys to protect your TV from this type of cyberattacks.
The first thing to note is that the smarter the TV technology, the chances of hacking may be greater. This means that buying a more expensive or new device does not necessarily guarantee safety, so you should take certain precautions regardless of the brand and model of your Smart TV.
Another important fact to understand the level of vulnerability of smart TVs, is that the more popular they are, to the same extent they are likely to be hacked. In fact, big brands like LG and Samsung have created free platforms about the engineering of their televisions, which are very useful for users, but paradoxically they also allow cyberspace criminals to learn about how the devices work, facilitating the entry of evil software.
It makes a lot of sense that the most popular brands are the most attacked since criminals can steal information from many more users, but no Smart TV is completely safe just because it is from a low profile manufacturer, since most smart TVs They have an operating system based on the Linux kernel, which is possibly the best known among hackers.
What can a cybercriminal do if he hacks my Smart TV?
The most important question would be how much a cybercriminal can really do when hacking a Smart TV. The most optimistic point out that it could only change the channel you are watching, play with the audio volume, and ultimately disconnect the WiFi network. This would certainly cause discomfort, but would not have serious consequences for users.
On the other hand, it is good to remember the famous computer image of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg in 2016, where both the camera and the microphone seemed to be covered with duct tape. Taking into account the relevance of the character in regards to new technologies, we could deduce that there would be the possibility of intervening by means of Trojans and other malware our electronic devices, including Smart TVs.
In this order of ideas, it could be a bigger problem than it seems, since spying on users’ private lives would be possible. Recall that televisions are usually installed in more or less private areas of homes, such as the living room and bedrooms. In this way, a cybercriminal could have access to images of people and also to compromising conversations.
According to the newspaper El Comercio, 2016 was a key year to understand the failures of smart TVs, since some users reported problems related to ransomware, a virus that blocks user access to their usual accounts, with the aim of asking for money or other benefits in exchange for returning access. This and other malicious programs have also been used in recent years to steal cryptocurrencies, as well as various scams.
How can I protect my Smart TV from a possible cyber attack?
It is good to point out that to a large extent manufacturers have a responsibility to protect users by providing greater security. In this case, it must be said that many companies are developing more and more armored smart TVs against malicious software. However, there are some tips that you can take into account to improve security when using the Smart TV.
A good way to start is by understanding the smart TV as a computer since it works with a complex operating system, therefore it is necessary to keep it updated. Normally, these devices announce on the screen when an update is available, so it is advisable to pay attention to these messages. If you do not receive these notifications, then you should check if there are new versions of the programs.
On the contrary, if you are watching content and receive a message with unreliable links on your TV screen, it is preferable that you do not access unknown websites, since they could enter malicious codes on your TV, putting your security and security at risk of the rest of the users of the house. It is also important that you know if the device is connected to a secure wireless network, never to a free signal, or that you cannot control.
It is possible to use a firewall or firewall, which is responsible for controlling network access to the Smart TV. If your TV has it, make sure it is an inactive mode. You can also activate blocking from the router, so you can avoid any incoming connection from the network to the connected devices.
Although it seems an exaggerated measure, it may be an option to cover the camera and the microphone of the TV while not using these functions, especially if there are suspicions of hacking. Some users feel calmer when performing this action since there are many rumors about virtual terrorism associated with the use of these accessories.
It is necessary to emphasize that many of the concerns of users that were previously considered myths, today are real dangers that many companies avoid by not affecting the sales of their products. This does not mean that new technology is solely responsible, but it depends on the way we use it. In the case of smart TV, it is no secret to anyone that it has endless advantages over old TVs, therefore, depriving yourself of those benefits should not be an option, but it is good to know that the best Smart TV can also Be the one that gives you maximum security.