(NBC News) — Spy stories used to be the kind of thing we watched on TV.
But the FBI is warning that the tables are turning, hackers may be able to take over your Smart Tv to spy on you. And that’s not the only thing to be worried about.
Smart TVs were a big hit on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. So the FBI is warning the public that screens with advanced tech could become the playground for 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,” says James Lyne, Global Head of Research for Sophos Security.
Smart TVs are equipped with microphones, often on your remote, that let you control the device with your voice. Here’s the thing, experts say that mic is always on and always listening.
“the security and privacy ramifications of that are huge and many consumers just don’t realize how much data they’re giving up to use these new features,” said Lyne.
A 2018 consumer report investigation found millions of Smart TVs had security flaws.
But it’s not just hackers that maybe after your information. A recent study found that many devices automatically sent data to Amazon, Facebook and Netflix.
So if you’re not comfortable with that, check your TV’s settings.
On some models, you can turn off “viewer information services. ” You can also disable the microphone.
The FBI suggests putting black tape over the camera, a low-tech option to protect your privacy.