Shopping Product Reviews

Is your television spying on you?

It seems that the more connected we are, the more privacy we lose. In a report and a “Consumers Report” investigation, they found that some smart TVs can track what you watch. The newest Smart TV from LG, Samsung, Sony, Vizio, and others could be doing just that. It looks like they were trying to compete with Nielson in an attempt to do a better job on ratings. Most of us watch Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, RoKu, and others. All of these need a Wi-Fi connection to work.

So how do they do it? They all have what’s called Automatic Content Recognition (AGR), which monitors what you watch. And of course you must be connected to the internet via cable or Wi-Fi. AGR is enabled by default.

The next thing you need to ask is, can my TV be hacked? Can someone hack my smart TV and take control or do something else? The answer to both is yes. The difficulty of this depends on the manufacturer of the TV or the manufacturer of Ruku, Hulu or other hardware devices connected to your TV. They should have some kind of security protection.

Can any of this be stopped? There are two basic ways, the first is to disconnect or disconnect the Internet from your smart TV, this is not always practical. The second will require a bit of work and digging into your TV’s menu options. Most TV manufacturers will have a way to turn off Automatic Content Recognition, this will vary by TV. You should be able to find it in your TV’s user manual or on the manufacturer’s website. Settings will usually be found under System or Support settings in your setup menu.

It seems that every day we are more “connected” with this connection there are many opportunities for you to lose more of your privacy. One of the best ways to stop or limit spying is to make sure your Wi-Fi router is up to date and that you have it set up for maximum security with a very strong password. As you add additional connected items to your home, make sure you understand what information they collect from you and how they will use it.

All security for your home, car, internet, etc. it starts with you. Research and make any necessary changes to protect your privacy.

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