Smart TV or Safe TV?

Matthew Pimmel, Writer

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Smart devices are everywhere: smartphones, smart doorbells, smart lights, smart refrigerators, you name it! One of the most recent additions to the smart family is the Smart TV. It allows users to watch movies, shows, listen to music, and even play mobile games without using a regular antenna or cable/satellite service. Sounds like a pretty sweet deal, right? Well, you may want to hold off before going all in on the smart device craze, as there are some precautions you might want to take.

Many Smart TVs that have internet connections and voice commands can track what you watch and search and send ads that could appeal directly to you or your lifestyle. An easy solution to this is to turn off such tracking in the settings, if your TV has them. Sounds like an easy fix, right? Maybe for getting rid of targeted ads, but what about the ever present problem of hacking?

Hacking into computers has been around for as long as computers have been around, and the technology to combat hackers has improved tremendously. Many smart devices have still gotten flack for being hackable, including Smart TVs. Hackers can use the webcam on your TV to spy on you or even get onto other devices. Despite these concerns, there are measures you can take to prevent it. You can disconnect your TV from your wi-fi or turning off or blocking a builtiin webcam if your TV has one. If neither of those things are possible, the easiest solution is to simply not buy a Smart TV. Just use a regular “dumb” TV because while it may not be as cool, it could save you many headaches in the future. Though despite these fixes, many companies like Samsung and LG have received major criticism for the lack of options to help protect people’s information.

In short, be safe with what you do when using technology. The fact that we have such useful tech right in our homes is incredible, but not taking proper precautions and being reckless with your information can lead to dangerous people stealing your precious information. Always check the settings to make sure nothing can happen to you. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t buy smart devices… just make sure you’re being safe when using them.