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Are There Viruses on Smart TV and How Can You Protect It?

Are There Viruses on Smart TV and How Can You Protect It?

Until recently, it was a common belief among people that smart TVs cannot be attacked by viruses; but on its tweeter account, SAMSUNG declared that their TV’s software can become vulnerable to the viruses and thereby it is necessary to perform a scan every few weeks to ensure that the television hasn’t been probed by any malware. Some people believed that this tweet was just nothing more than a strategy to promote one of their newly launched services; but in reality, to answer your question, whether a smart TV can have viruses or not, the answer would be a big Yes. 

The primary reason behind this vulnerability is that Smart TVs have internet access and operating systems like WebOS and Android. The same platforms are used by smartphones and computers. Similar to these devices, the operating system of a smart TV allows apps and interfaces to work smoothly so that the customers can install updates for a better experience. In addition to the above-mentioned method, sometimes, the virus may enter your TV through removable discs or pen-drives from unrecognized sources or if they are being used after they had been previously inserted in devices that contained the virus. 

According to reports, the privacy policies of the TV boxes are not strapping enough to prevent the user’s data from being misused. Even though we must not forget the fact the experts have pointed out, that, there are only a few varieties of viruses and malware that are meant to attack a television and such cases are extremely rare. There’s a slight possibility for the operating system of your TV to become prone to viruses, yet the chances to get infected cannot be ruled out altogether. As a result of this, the probability becomes directly proportional to the number of TV units sold by the companies. If once, by any chance, the virus breaches through the security of the TV, the potential outcome is quite distinct from a smartphone or computer. Here the data is not directly taken from the TV to misuse it, but the information on the devices to which it is connected can be compromised. So, the more internet devices it is connected to, the better are the chances for the malware to fetch data. Furthermore, it has been found out that the viruses can clone some of the TVs inbuilt services and deceptively record some of your information. Therefore, the safest way to ensure that your TV is protected and not spammed with unnecessary pop-ups and messages is by scanning and securing it. 

What can be done?

You can be surprised to know that unlike computers or smartphones, there exists no software or application that can be installed by the users to keep our TV out of the virus’s reach. Some of them come with pre-installed software, granting permission to which will enable virus scanning at periodic intervals.  If you do not own a smart TV with an antivirus, then you can take resort to make a few basic changes in it and securing the other devices and routes that the Smart TV has access to via the internet. 

  • Make sure that the TV you purchase is from a reputed company and is from an authorized dealer. Taking effective measures to protect your smart TV from the virus should be a part of the company’s services, failing which it must at least have enough security that will ask permission to initiate almost all the grave steps.
  • Now that we have learned that the viruses attacking your TV are incapable of causing havoc, you can begin by taking simple steps to improve its security and the first would be through creating a strong password that grants you access to the TV’s content and then enabling the configuration of the router’s settings for privacy and information so that you are alarmed whenever certain App is willing to share your information with a stranger source. 
  • Check if there are options that will let you deactivate the apps that you are not using at the moment, and when you get back to them, they reopen only with strong personalized passwords. Also, remember to make thorough changes in the default settings and password of the TV right after you have bought it.
  • If your Smart TV is connected to multiple internet devices, then get your hands on the home firewall devices. The firewall device will act as a filter between the overall internet network of your home and the receiving end of this information. It successfully detects and blocks internet traffic and prevents all your devices which in turn include the Smart TV from any potential threat. Firewall protection is slightly on the higher portion of the price range but can be very simple and effective in securing your home’s entire internet connection. 
  • Consider getting a VPN app for your smart TV. VPN encryptsall Internet traffic and no one will be able to monitor your online activities.
  • Before installing the apps and exploring the TV’s usage, go through its book of information; look carefully into the details that concern the firmware updates so that you can instate the updates immediately after they have been made available. 
  • If your Smart TV is directly connected to the internet router, then ensure that the router is protected first; there are a lot of internet providers who do not have a strong safeguard to keep the information exchanged through their network security or sometimes can also breach the data themselves. Attach a strong password and username to it, so that if somebody tries to get access without permission, it becomes impossible for them. 
  • Another effective method that can help you to protect your Smart TV is by cautiously reading through the set of permissions that you are willing to grant to stream a show or download an application. Sometimes, in a hurry, we miss out on specific details that the TV is willing to access and that can lead the virus to enter our TV through the other devices.

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