With the holiday season continuing and Cyber Monday having just passed, many are buying gifts.
But shoppers beware. The FBI reported that if you purchased a smart TV on Black Friday or are looking to buy one, there are a few things to consider before bringing the new set into your living room.
According to the FBI, the same internet connection you use to stream your favorite shows or movies can make you vulnerable to security threats.
An FBI field office in Portland is urging consumers to be cautious about the smart TVs in their homes. The Bureau recommends a few things to look out for, stressing the importance of understanding your TV in order to safeguard your privacy.
While owning a television, people should change the password and also make sure the microphone and camera is always off. If you can’t turn off the camera feature, make sure you cover that feature with a piece of black tape.
"Beyond the risk that your TV manufacturer and app developers may be listening and watching you, that television can also be a gateway for hackers to come into your home," the FBI wrote in a press release. "A bad cyber actor may not be able to access your locked-down computer directly, but it is possible that your unsecured TV can give him or her an easy way in the backdoor through your router."
"They can change channels, play with the volume, and show your kids inappropriate videos," the FBI said. "In a worst-case scenario, they can turn on your bedroom TV's camera and microphone and silently cyberstalk you."
If you encounter cyber fraud, you can contact the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center.