Back then, TVs used to be just a screen that projects audio and video from analog signals and nothing more. Today, you can use your smart TV to connect to the internet, stream music and videos, act as a multimedia player, contain a recommendation engine, allows universal search, gaming, and many more. These are all exciting features of a smart TV, but perhaps you’d also like to know if can a tv screen be used as a camera? Let’s find out.
Smart TVs and Built-In Cameras
Some smart TV brands boast having a video calling capability while others pride at having facial recognition features, and a few have them both. If your smart TV supports these two, then there’s a high chance it has a built-in camera. Try to look at your TVs once more, and it’ll now be easy for you to spot where that camera is. It is usually located near the edge of the screen.
TV Cameras: A Must-Have Feature?
Now that we’ve figured out if can a tv screen be used as a camera, let’s evaluate its pros and cons. At a glance, it would seem that having a built-in camera on a smart TV is a cool thing. After all, you won’t need another device installed on your screen for a video call. But, security experts believe otherwise. The FBI warned about smart TVs being unsecured as they are prone to hacking. Someone else can take control of your gadget, and one can only imagine what hackers can do with your TV cameras. In worst-case scenarios, it can be used to spy on you.
Smart TV Security Issues
Since smart TVs are designed to go online, it becomes vulnerable to hacking. The hacker can remotely access your TV’s setting, the files in it, your USB drive, and remote configurations. But that’s not all. Hackers can get their hands on your TV camera and microphone, too. Some cyber geeks could already be watching and listening to you as you watch TV without you knowing. They can do this by installing malicious spyware in the network where your TV is installed.
Experts clarified that the possible breach in your smart TV’s privacy happens when the hacker gets your IP address via an open or weak Wi-Fi or unsecured network’s computers. Thus, it is targeted attacks that one should worry about, and not mass exploiting through the internet.
How to Keep Hackers Out of Your Smart TV
Whatever reason you may have in trying to know if can a tv screen be used as a camera, you should now start securing your smart TV’s connection to keep cracks out. If you’re worried about your smart TV getting hacked, here’s what you should do.
- Secure your network. Make sure that your wireless network uses WPA encryption instead of WEP, as the latter can easily be cracked.
- Check network devices. Keep track of all devices connected to your network. Consider anyone from the neighborhood with access to your system a potential hacker. The person next door who’s asked to share your Wi-Fi can be watching you through your smart TV’s camera.
- Password change. Update the default security settings, and change admin usernames and passwords. Make sure to use complex passwords that are difficult to guess. Your password is your primary protection against hacking, so it’s worth the attention.
- Update. Regularly update your home computer to avert possible security breaches. Update your web browsers, too, as upgrades may have security and privacy patches.
- Tape the camera. If you’re still worried someone is spying on you through your smart TV, tape the camera. There’s no need to get rid of the device. Simply add a physical barrier to keep peeping Tom off your space.
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Other Things Your Smart TV Can Do
Can a TV screen be used as a camera? Yes, we’ve already pointed that out. But what other things can your smart TV do? We won’t be talking about the cool features of these devices, but those that may interfere with your privacy. Besides the possibility of getting hacked and spied on, your smart TV also collects data from you.
Most smart TVs use ACR technology or automatic content recognition that aims to gather information about what you watch. This technology is present in most smart devices. It tracks the movies you watch, and with that information, content, and advertising recommendations are made. This is the reason why your interface mostly shows the contents of your interest. Couple ACR with a face-recognition capability, and the device knows who’s watching and which shows to suggest and products to plug. Some TV manufacturers will then sell the data they have to third-party.
If you find the ACR a little too cunning, you can disable this function. On your TV’s remote, press the home button and look for the privacy setting. Click it and search for the Smart TV experience. A “use information for TV inputs” option will prompt on the screen. Uncheck this to turn off ACR technology.
Modern-day devices undeniably bring comfort in our homes, but that is not all they do. They can also be checking on you. To ensure a secure connection with the devices you are using, it is just right to ask questions like ‘can a TV screen be used as a camera?’. That way, you know how to protect yourself from a possible privacy breach. Find out more about TV screen as camera.