. On the Vizio, which is the most troubling since it's the only company -- that we know of -- that spies by default, you can turn off Smart Interactivity by following these steps from your TV.
" VIDEO: Twitter doesn't want police mining tweets to track protestors What's that? You already have a smart TV? Bite the bullet, disconnect it from the internet, and turn it into a dumb TV. So, what can you do? Well, it depends, as always, on the brand and model. I am absolutely sure there has been no improvement in smart TV security since then.
Even if you assume the TV vendors care about protecting their customers' data, they don't have the necessary security and network chops to protect your data. TV companies may be experts making great displays, but they're not networking or security pros.
When the news broke that intelligence agencies were hacking smart TVs, that really wasn't news. It would've been news if they hadn't cracked such easy targets. Related Stories: I'm not happy with that.
And I'm downright ticked off that Samsung doesn't properly encrypt this data when it sends it home over the internet. This Smart Interactivity "feature" works by watching what I watch -- whether it's by cable or streaming. It also records the date, time, and channel of programs and if I watched the show live or recorded.
Vizio then takes all that data and connects it to my Internet Protocol (IP) address. With that much data, any big data analyst can know more about me -- and not just my television watching habits -- than my family does. Don't want to go that far? Then go deep through your TV's list of commands and turn off anything that indicates it's listening to you or sending data back to its home company.
That may not work, but at least you'll have tried.
I think we can safely assume it was spying. Well, for starters, don't buy smart TVs in the first place. Apple TV and Roku, to name two, supply pretty much everything a smart TV does and more.
Sure, they can have security holes as well, but at least they're designed by people with a clue about security and network engineering. If you're using Ethernet, do the same thing -- except this time, you simply don't plug it into your network. For example, Samsung's data leak came about because its smart TVs were sending data over the 443 TCP socket. That's the default socket for the secure HTTP over SSL protocol. What it was actually sending over this port was a mess made up of XML, binary packets, and some raw, unencrypted data.
So, what can you do? Yes, this is drastic. But you really can't trust smart TVs.
But, "Please be aware that if your spoken words include personal or other sensitive information, that information will be among the data captured and transmitted to a third party through your use of Voice Recognition. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) forced Vizio to stop its snooping.
As South Korean security expert Seung-Jin Lee showed in 2013, there's no security worthy of the name in most smart TVs. Lee showed 10 different vulnerabilities that would allow him to get a root shell on the device. The other TVs should be safe so long as you have the voice recognition features turned off.
When it turns on again and goes through its setup routine, don't give it your Wi-Fi password.
And, come on, LG -- you didn't know if you were sucking data from your customers? No, you're not going to be able to manage this non-stop bleeding of personal data.