Is Your Television Spying On You?

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

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

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

Can any of this be stopped? There are two basic ways, first is to unplug or disconnect the internet from your smart TV, this isn’t always practical. The second will take a little work and digging into the menu options of your TV. Most of the TV manufacturers will have a way to shut off the Automatic Content Recognition, this will vary depending on the TV. You should be able to find this in your TV user’s manual or on the manufacturers web site. The setting will usually be found in the System or Support setting in your setup menu.

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

All security for your home, car, internet, etc. starts with you. Do your research and make the necessary changes to protect your privacy.