FBI is Warning the Public of Smart TVs Security Issues

The FBI posted warnings on its website to inform the public of security issues that come along with the use of Smart TVs.


An FBI division located in Oregon posted the concerns in a Tech Tuesday press release on FBI.gov.  The post explains that Smart TVs connect to the internet, which opens up a variety of vulnerabilities and hackers.

“At the low end of the risk spectrum, they can change channels, play with the volume, and show your kids inappropriate videos. In a worst-case scenario, they can turn on your bedroom TV’s camera and microphone and silently cyberstalk you.”

The FBI also offered ways to safeguard against potential attacks on your security.

  • Know exactly what features your TV has and how to control those features. Do a basic Internet search with your model number and the words “microphone,” “camera,” and “privacy.”

  • Don’t depend on the default security settings. Change passwords if you can – and know how to turn off the microphones, cameras, and collection of personal information if possible. If you can’t turn them off, consider whether you are willing to take the risk of buying that model or using that service.

  • If you can’t turn off a camera but want to, a simple piece of black tape over the camera eye is a back-to-basics option.

  • Check the manufacturer’s ability to update your device with security patches. Can they do this? Have they done it in the past?

  • Check the privacy policy for the TV manufacturer and the streaming services you use. Confirm what data they collect, how they store that data, and what they do with it.


Oregon FBI Tech Tuesday: Securing Smart TVs

Welcome to the Oregon FBI’s Tech Tuesday segment. Today: building a digital defense with your TV. Yes, I said your TV. Specifically your smart TV…the one that is sitting in your living room right now. Or, the one that you plan to buy on super sale on Black Friday.