The FBI is warning consumers about smart TVs.
A message posted before the Thanksgiving holiday by an FBI field officestates those televisions have built-in cameras that can be used for facial recognition — making them vulnerable to hackers.
Many people who purchased a smart TV on Black Friday may not know about the risks that come with it.
TV manufacturers, app developers and even hackers may have access to unsecured smart television’s cameras and microphones.
John Havard, President of OSI Security in Abilene, said access could be granted upon blindly agreeing to privacy policies.
“People just click yes,” Havard said. “They don’t go in there and go, ‘Well I don’t want to do that.’ Well, if you click no, then they don’t have [the ability to see or hear you] but you can’t get Netflix or anything other than cable TV.”
KTXS spoke with James Morrison, a Computer Scientist with the FBI in Houston. He said their focus is not just on smart televisions, but all IOT or “Internet of Things” devices.
“We don’t necessarily want to focus just on the TVs,” Morrison said. “Any kind of device, whether it’s audio or video, can allow them to gather information, usually used more from a marketing standpoint than anything.”
Morrison said that anyone with access can listen to your conversations and watch what you are doing.
He said to make sure all of your home devices are secured.
“You should have passwords on everything,” Morrison said. “Strong passwords. Don’t use default passwords.”
Morrison told KTXS he has a smart TV.
“I just make sure that I use really good passwords,” he said. “I change it every so often and I think an awareness of the risk.”
To combat anyone looking through your smart television’s camera, the Morrison and Havard both said you can simply cover it up with a piece of black tape.
By AJ Gersh/KTXS12
Posted by The non-Conformist