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Be wary of hackers before hooking up your new smart TV, FBI says

Cyber Monday gave people plenty of reasons to buy a new Smart TV for their home.

However, the FBI warns to be wary of hackers before setting anything up.

The reasons we love these smart TVs can also be the same way hackers can take advantage.

Many newer TVs have microphones and cameras built in that let a viewer talk to the TV or use facial recognition.

It’s also the way hackers can take control, giving them access to low risk hacks like changing channels or playing inappropriate videos.

But there’s always a chance for a greater threat.

The FBI said a hacker can turn on your TV’s camera and microphone to silently cyberstalk you.

Here’s what the FBI recommends:

  • Learn what features your TV has and how to control those features, like the camera, microphone and access to personal information.
  • Don’t depend on the standard security settings. Check passwords if you can.
  • If you can’t turn off the camera, you can simply place a piece of black tape over the camera’s eye.
  • Check the manufacturer’s ability to update your device’s security software.
  • Check the privacy policy for the TV and the streaming services you use, like what data they collect and how they store it.

If you have been victimized by a cyber fraud, be sure to report it to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.IC3.gov or call your local FBI office.


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