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DEFENDERS: Your TV might be spying on you

smart tv

COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)

If you just bought a smart TV or are planning on buying one for the holidays, the FBI wants to warn you about potential hacking.

The FBI says your smart TV could be spying on you. While there are benefits of having a smart TV connected to the internet, that also means the TV could be more vulnerable to cyberattacks.

Because Smart TVs are connected to the internet, hackers can gain access to an internet router, which contains personal information. A hacker may not be able to access personal information directly, but it's an easy way in the backdoor through the router.

At the low end of the risk spectrum, hackers can change the channels and play with the volume. In the worst-case scenario, they can turn on a TV's camera, microphone and watch or listen to you.

So how can you protect your family? Here are the recommendations:

  • Know exactly what features your TV has and how to control those features. Don't depend on the default security settings.
  • Change passwords if you can -- and know how to turn off the microphone, camera.
  • Use a simple piece of black tape over the camera eye.
  • Update your device with security patches.
  • Check the privacy policy for the TV manufacturer.

Defenders / Top Stories / Video

Deborah Kendrick

Deborah is a weekday morning anchor and investigative reporter for ABC 17 News.

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