The shopping season might inspire many to upgrade their entertainment hubs with a new Smart TV, but hackers could misuse them to violate user privacy, says FBI.

The arrival of the holiday season once again brings increased shopping, but also increased dangers for new users of various smart appliances. Home upgrades are quite common in this time of the year, but users often fail to educate themselves about the dangers of gadgets and smart devices such as Amazon’s Alexa, Google’s Nest Home, and alike.

Hackers Could Misuse Smart TVs to Spy on Users

While useful, any device with the connection to the internet could be exploited by those seeking to harm others. This is especially true when it comes to Smart TVs, according to the FBI’s office in Portland, Oregon.

The FBI says that many of the most advanced Smart TVs are becoming control hubs for households’ entire entertainment system. However, they could also be used for intruding on users and endangering their privacy.

The number of reports of hackers taking control of users’ devices, cameras, various IoT gadgets, and alike, has been on a constant rise. Even so, many have criticized the FBI’s warning, as it only includes things that many would take as common sense. Of course, there were countless examples of common sense not being practiced by smart application users, so the FBI’s usual warnings and suggestions might not be as useless as they seem.

Microphones, Internet, and Hacking

When it comes to Smart TVs, the FBI mostly focuses its suggestions and warnings to users who have purchased devices with cameras and microphones. The cameras are there for video chatting or user recognition. Similarly, microphones serve for giving voice commands and talking to other people via video. Furthermore, these features should also help Smart TVs provide specific users with specific content.

Unfortunately, due to their internet connection, they are also vulnerable to hacks. Smart TV hacks are not among the most common privacy invading techniques, but they do happen.

Meanwhile, someone who is only starting to familiarize themselves with a wider spectrum of smart devices might not be aware of the threat.

What do you think about smart applications? Do you see them as helpful, or as spying devices that people willingly bring into their homes? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Images are courtesy of Twitter, Shutterstock, Pixabay.

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