Smart televisions offer a lot of cool features, including internet access, streaming apps, and built-in cameras and microphones. Nevertheless, because they are consistently connected to the internet, those TV’s can be a potential risk.  Hackers who gain access can control your TV and change certain settings. Using built-in cameras and microphones, a smart and capable hacker can spy on your conversations. FBI distinguished that TV manufacturers and app developers can listen to and watch you. Hackers that gain access to your unsecured television and can take control by changing channels, and even showing inappropriate content to children. At worst, they might turn on your TV's camera and microphone to spy on you or use that access to find a backdoor into your router and other connected devices.

How Do I Turn Off The Camera On My Samsung Smart TV?

Turn off Snooping on Samsung TVs

How to Disagree to Data Collection Policies

When you set up your brand new TV, you should disagree to the following sections of the Samsung privacy policy.

Viewing Information Services: This is Samsung’s ACR feature.

Interest-Based Advertisement Services: Disabling this stops Samsung from using your data to show you relevant ads. You will still see ads, but they won’t be based on your viewing history.

Voice Recognition: Disagree to this to stop your voice data from being collected. If you do this, you won’t be able to use voice recognition at all. If you are already using an existing Samsung TV, here is how you can quickly turn off its snooping features.

How to Disable Activity Tracking

For newer Samsung TV models (2017-2019):

Go to the main menu and click the Settings icon.

Go to Support and scroll down to Terms and Policies.

Turn off the Viewing Information Services option. You can also turn off Interest-Based advertising to stop personalized ads.  

For older Samsung TV models (2014-2016):Go to the Smart Hub menu and click the Settings icon.Click Support and then Terms & Policy. Go to SyncPlus and Marketing and disable SyncPlus.

How to Disable Voice Recording and Cameras

For newer Samsung TV models (2017-2019):

Go to the main menu and click the Settings icon.

Go to Support and scroll down to Terms and Policies.Turn off the Voice Recognition Services option.  For older Samsung TV models (2014-2016):Go to the Smart Hub menu and click the Settings icon.Select Smart Features. Scroll down to Voice Recognition and turn it off. If your TV has a built-in camera, you can cover it with black tape.

How to avoid smart TV privacy risks

What is the simplest way to make sure that your smart TV is not spying on you?

Disconnect it from your home network. But if you want access to some of the perks of smart technology, consider avoiding TV with a built-in camera. If you already have a TV with a webcam, go for the low tech, but effective way of blocking is to put a black tape to cover the lens, except for when you are using it.

Here’s how to protect yourself if you’re worried about smart TVs and privacy risks.

Research your TV- Know the exact features your TV comes with. The FBI recommends searching your model number with the words “microphone,” “camera,” and “privacy” to quickly find the precise information.

Pick a new password - Change all the default security settings your TV arrived with, including making a new password if you’re able, the FBI recommends. You should also check the privacy policy for your TV manufacturer and the streaming services you use. Look for the data they collect and what they do with it.

Stop your TV from snooping - You can turn off your TV’s automatic content recognition to limit the amount of personal data that’s collected. Consumer Reports put together a step by step guide, based on which device you use.

Cut the camera - Check whether you can turn off the microphone and or camera. If you can’t turn the camera off, place a piece of black tape over the eye, a time tested strategy for privacy-sensitive laptop users.

Top Tips to Stay Safe around Smart TV’s

1. Read the Privacy Policy and Disagree to Data Collection

Your smart TV can only track you if you permit it. Do not just agree without reading it carefully; disagrees with anything that mentions ACR or data collection. But remember that even you disagree with Automatic content recognition; some data may still be collected.

2. Turn It into a Dumb TV

Your smart TV can’t track you if it does not have internet access, so directly go to the settings and turn off the Wi-Fi. If your TV won’t allow you to disconnect from the internetcarry out a factory reset. When it asks for your Wi-Fi password, don not enter it. Then you can use it as an ordinary “dumb” TV.

3. Turn off Smart Settings

If you don’t want to turn off the Wi-Fi, you will need to disable your TV’s smart settings. The method will vary depending on which brand and model you have.

4. Get a VPN for Added Security

A VPN will protect your online traffic from hackers and mask your IP address, which keeps you anonymous and hides your location.
How VPNs Can Protect You from Your Smart TV
  • Encrypt your personal data.
  • Blocking ads and tracking.
  • Hide your real IP address. 
5. Adjust Privacy Settings to Turn off Data Collection 

 If you’ve been using your smart TV for a while and you’ve already agreed to the privacy policies, you will need to turn off data collection Smart TVs connect to the Internet; authorize you to stream content from online services like Netflix and Hulu directly to your TV. The newer versions also have microphones for voice control that can turn up the volume by yelling at the TV as well as built in cameras. In other cases, according to the FBI, the cameras are used for facial recognition so the TV can see whose watching and recommend programs. However, the hacker might use it to know every inch of details about us, so be very careful in using Smart TV.