Do Smart TVs need antivirus

It’s a big question to many, especially those who are thinking to shop for one in the upcoming Thanksgiving or Christmas season. Security experts say that it is not a smart thinking to purchase an anti-virus solution and run on a connected TV. Even if companies like Samsung try to push them towards you on a mandatory note.

Yes, you’ve read it right! Pretty soon, all smart TVs sold by Samsung will get a free one year subscription for McAfee antivirus and the electronics giant is intending to push the security roll-over to all its customers by this weekend.

Well, we have news that the Korean company has tied up with the security brand and will urge all its users to manually run the software at least once or twice a week, after it gets updated on all viewing devices.

However, some experts argue on Reddit that it’s better to disconnect the Samsung TV from Wi-Fi and instead used streaming devices like fire-stick, Apple TV, Roku, or Chromecast….then what’s the use of investing 1000s of dollars on the device…just for that homely cinematic experience?

Now the big question? Do smart TVs need malware protection? To a certain extent, as they are connected to a network, they can get easily exposed to zero day attacks, like all other Internet Of Things.

While old obsolete smart TVs are super-vulnerable to such attacks, even the latest generation ones are not immune, say, cybersecurity experts. Those that do not get security patches on a regular note and all those users who have a habit of keeping their Wi-Fi setting in flight mode on their smart TV are likely to suffer from cyber assaults.

NOTE 1- Some smart users might get a question into their mind that what attacks are Smart TVs exposed to? Well, eavesdropping on streaming content, radio signal hijacks, Government snooping, location tracking, targeting the TV with botnet malware, backdoor breaches into set-top boxes or dish TVs, and selling users viewing habits to ad agencies are some malpractices that the television devices can go through.

NOTE 2- Kaspersky, Avira, Avast, ESET, AVG and McAfee are some companies that offer anti-malware solutions for smart TVs, especially the ones running on the aged Android and now the Google Chrome. For Tizen and WebOS users, better consult the manufacturer before buying a solution.

Naveen Goud
Naveen Goud is a writer at Cybersecurity Insiders covering topics such as Mergers & Acquisitions, Startups, Cyber Attacks, Cloud Security and Mobile Security

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