Would you do internet banking on your smart TV?

It’s easy to get online these days. From smartphones, tablets and computers to household appliances like smart fridges and game consoles, many devices can give you access to the internet. Smart televisions are no exception, allowing you to connect digitally.

But just how safe is it to browse the internet through your smart TV? Would you access sensitive information, such as from your internet banking accounts, through this appliance?

It’s been shown that smart TVs can be hacked. In one example, a security consultant was able to compromise a Samsung TV smart browser in 2017, gaining remote control over it. The range of operating systems used by different makers make it more difficult for developers to provide specific security measures, and demonstrations like this one show that it’s certainly possible for a smart TV to fall foul of cybercriminals, including identity thieves.

What can a hacker do if they access your smart TV?

Your smart TV isn’t limited to television programmes and internet browsing. If a hacker gains control of it, they could potentially:

  • steal your passwords and other sensitive information, including personal and financial data, if available
  • access photos or documents located on a memory stick that’s inserted into your TV
  • collect data on your viewing or browsing history
  • spy on your whereabouts and conversations (this could help them time when to break in, if that’s their goal)
  • gain access to other computers on the same internet network as your smart TV.

How can you protect your smart TV from potential cyberattacks?

If you’ve got a smart TV, you may want to prevent any potential attacks by cybercriminals. Some ways to do this include the following.

  • Your smart TV may be connected to the internet by default. If this is the case, you’ll have to take action to turn it off.
  • Make sure to install any updates, as these may include fixes for security issues and bugs.
  • Don’t save any passwords on your smart TV, and change any passwords on apps on your TV regularly.
  • Cover your webcam and microphone with enough tape to avoid being recorded.
  • Beware of fraudulent offers or phishing messages on the internet, especially on social media sites.

If you own a smart TV, it’s useful to understand the risks that it poses to your personal and financial data. You may want to take steps to help prevent your device from being hacked, to keep your personal details safe and secure.

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