Who's Watching You Through Your Smart Television Set?

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Who’s watching you through your new Smart television set? That’s right, a hacker could be watching you and your family while you watch TV. Today’s televisions are all HD, and Wi-Fi connected so that you can surf the Internet and download movies, and television shows to watch at your convenience. They also come with cameras that you can use to make video calls to family and friends. It’s not jst about Directv or Charter cable tv anymore.

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If you use your Smart television to make a video call over the Internet, it allows the person that you’re calling to see and hear into your home in real time. But this also allows a person with a computer, camera, and the no how to seize control of your camera and microphone to look into your home through your Internet network. In some cases this can be done even if the television set is turned off. These guys are good. I just hope you don’t have a television with a camera in your bedroom because what happens in your bedroom needs to stay in your bedroom.

Vulnerable to Peeping Toms

For example, Skype is a free software download that you can use to make free video calls over the Internet. Having Internet access is great because of all the great things that you can do and see, but in this case Internet access makes you vulnerable to Peeping Toms. When you connected your home computer to the Internet, your computer became a doorway to the outside world. But the thing about doorways is, you can go through them in both directions. The same Internet connection, or doorway, that allows you to send pictures and video around the world allows hackers to use your Smart television to come into your home to see a live show starring you, your family, and friends.

They Can Still See You

Don’t think just because the television is off you can’t be seen. Like I said, these guys are good. They can seize control of your Smart TV and camera even when the set is off. Then they can see, hear, and record whatever is going on in your bedroom or any room that has one of these Internet connected television sets. The thing is, that as long as your television is connected to the Internet and your network router is on, a hacker can see through your television into your home. So just turning the television off isn’t enough.

One in a Million

According to Appliancemagazine.com, an international online news outlet, there will be 175 million online video users in the United States in 2013, and will reach 191 million by 2017, when there will be nearly 70 million Smart-TV households, according to Parks Associates research. This points to the potential for you to be one of the increasing numbers of households that will be vulnerable to Smart TV hackers that are looking to look into your home and into your life.

No Where to Hide

So what can you do to protect yourself? You can buy computer software protection to load onto your computer but unfortunately anything with a microprocessor for a brain can be hacked into. That would be your computer and your Smart TV with the fancy camera. So even the best computer firewalls can be hacked through. Apart from disconnecting your television from the Internet you can’t be entirely safe from the prying eyes of hackers.

A Patch for Pirates

In the video below entitled, Smart TV Camera Hack Creates Window Into Your Home, Security Engineers explain how they found a way to hack into a Smart TV. Notice that they say that they believe a hacker could do this and get live video and take still pictures through your television. Now that these vulnerabilities have been discovered, manufacturers are working to provide software patches to close these TV windows into your home. The thing about software patches is in order for them to work; they have to be installed by the televisions owner. Even if the patches do get installed how long do you think it will take for hackers to find a way around them?

Note

All Smart Tv’s aren’t necessarily susceptible to hacking. It could vary from company to company and product to product. Major television manufacturers like Sony, Samsung, LG, RCA, Vizio, Mitsubishi, Toshiba, Sharp, and Panasonic are all aware of the problem of spying through Smart Tv’s and no doubt are taking steps to counter it.

The Good the Bad and the Ugly

Can anyone see me through my TV, you ask. This is an electronically connected world we live in but we’re connected to the good and the bad. Unfortunately fun entertainment things like Smart televisions, are the ways some people look for to invade your home. It’s a chance you take when you buy a Smart TV and connect it to the Internet. So, yes they can see you through your TV.

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Who's Watching You Through Your Smart Television Set?, Seekyt
General Contributor
Janice is a writer from Chicago, IL. She created the "simple living as told by me" newsletter with more than 12,000 subscribers about Living Better and is a founder of Seekyt.