Are you looking to buy a smart TV? Perhaps you own one and want to know how you can use it as safely as possible. Whilst, first and foremost, we buy these exciting pieces of technology to enrich our lives with entertainment, we often overlook potential areas of concern. Smart TVs are expensive and consumers often save up for a long time to buy one, so why would we not want to ensure that our investment is kept in the best condition possible? With physical damage and virus attacks being a just couple of the problems smart TV owners can face, we want to make sure that both you and your television are as safe as they can be.
In this guide, we’ll take you through four important aspects of protecting your smart TV:
- Pre-purchase checks, before buying a smart TV
- Why do you want a smart TV?
- The potential dangers of inbuilt cameras
- Passwords changes
- Setting up your device
- Protecting your smart TV against physical damage
- Screen scratches and breakages
- Protecting your children and smart TV
- Securing your smart TV to a wall
- Transporting your smart TV
- Protecting your smart TV against internal damages
- Power surges
- Protecting yourself and your smart TV digitally
- Cyber attacks
- Prying eyes
- Internet viruses
Pre-purchase checks, before buying a smart TV
With so many smart TVs on the market, you’ll be spoilt for choice and as technology continues to develop, the options available to you are only going to get more advanced. This is great for our entertainment consumption, but also ever more confusing – especially if technology isn’t your strong point.
Why do you want a smart TV?
Before welcoming a smart TV into your living room, consider exactly what it is that you want. There are a seamlessly endless possibilities of what a Smart TV can add to your life right now: movie streaming, subscription services, internet browsing, games, YouTube – the list goes on.
Not every television will offer every option, so deciding your priorities will help to narrow down your choices and make the selection process easier.
The potential dangers of inbuilt cameras
Whilst it is exciting to have a television with an inbuilt camera, for the purpose of video calling family or friends or creating videos, there are risks associated with the privilege. There is some indication that inbuilt cameras and microphones are monitored by external bodies – although this has not been proven. If you are concerned by this, you can minimise the risk by keeping the camera feature turned off whenever you are not using it.
It is important to check that you can set your own passwords on your smart TV. This ensures that you have control over your personal information and data and can lock your account to anyone that you don’t want to give access to.
Setting up your device
Like any piece of technology, a new smart TV will require you to follow some setting-up processes before you can sit back and enjoy. Try to get a general understanding of the complexities around setting up your new TV before purchasing it and how user friendly it is – especially if you struggle with navigating technology.
Protecting your smart TV against physical damage
The most likely damage that your TV will sustain is via accidents at home. These are often unavoidable, but there are ways that you can decrease the impact, should a child’s toy hit the screen or your device gets knocked over.
Screen scratches and breakages
Most Smart TV screens are made of plastic or glass, with the latter being the most vulnerable to scratches. Just like your mobile phone, you can buy specifically-sized screen protectors for your smart TV, which will help minimise scratches.
It is impossible to prevent hands from ever touching your TV screen, especially as it is a teasing temptation for little ones’ sticky hands. Simply use a damp, soft piece of cloth to remove any dirt and watch your screen become as good as new.
Protecting your children and smart TV
Children are the most likely culprits when it comes to damaging a smart TV, between balls being accidentally launched in the direction of the screen, to sticky fingerprints. To help prevent accidents occurring, consider positioning your TV, where children cannot reach – perhaps higher up, or mounted on a wall. Allowing your children alloted ‘TV time’ can also help prevent accidents, as not only will you be able to monitor how much TV they are consuming, you can also make sure that you’re in the room to prevent any energetic playing that may cause damage to the screen.
Securing your smart TV to a wall
The majority of smart TVs come with a wall mount, giving you the option to secure your device to a wall, helping to maximise space. It is important that your TV is secured tightly to the fixture so that when the device is shaken, it does not come loose.
Transporting your smart TV
At some point, whether you’re moving house or moving rooms, you may need to transport your smart tv somewhere else. This is the most likely time that television can be damaged and extra care should be taken.
Here are some tips to help you avoid damages whilst transporting:
- Do not transport your smart TV with other hard items. In a removal van or car, keep your TV separate, surrounded by softer items.
- Never throw away your TV packaging so you can repackage your TV safely when you need to move it.
- Use a safety compartment and strap the smart TV in.
- If there isn’t a safety compartment, consider putting the TV between two mattresses.
- Take care not to drop your TV – even from a low height, It may not survive the impact.
- Keep your smart TV safe from other objects that may fall and hit the screen.
Protecting your smart TV against internal damages
Aside from external damages, your smart TV is at risk of being damaged internally too.
To protect your smart TV from being internally damaged, be aware of power outages in your local area and as soon as you hear of one, switch your TV off. You can further safeguard against power surges by purchasing a surge protector. This simple, electronic device controls the amount of power going to your TV, so when there is a sudden outage of electricity, the surge protector takes the shock, not the TV. In addition, ensure that your TV’s fuse is up to standard, as this will help protect your device and is easily replaceable if damaged by a power surge.
Short-circuiting occurs when electricity flows in the wrong direction. It also happens when positive and negative wires meet. Short-circuiting is incredibly damaging to TVs and is a serious fire hazard.
One of the major causes of short-circuiting is moisture, so it is important to ensure that your TV is kept away from water. If your smart TV does happen to get wet, do not connect it to a power source until it has fully dried.
Protecting yourself and Your smart TV digitally
Technology is the backbone of the modern world. Despite all the incredible things technology can do, some people choose to use It for bad. As such, it can be helpful to be able to recognise the potential threats to your technology, should it ever come under attack.
Cybercriminals use the internet to attack unsuspecting users. Whenever we use our private data online we open ourselves up to the risk of having our information stolen, so it’s important that we know of ways to protect ourselves.
- Protect your smart TV via your router. Routers are convenient because you can connect to multiple devices cable-free. The downside is that a router leaves each of the devices connected to it vulnerable to attacks like Man-in-the-Middle (MITM). To lower risk, ensure you change your router password frequently.
- Separate the networks and devices you connect to. If you have multiple devices connected to your router, try separating the networks using custom permissions. This way you can protect sensitive devices and turn off any which you don’t need.
- Properly configure your smart TV. Keep your smart TV secure and functional by updating your privacy settings, choosing what you are comfortable with your provider collecting or sharing.
- Keep your devices updated. When updates become available, make sure you install them. These help resolve vulnerabilities that open devices to cyber attacks.
There is some evidence to suggest that Governments and other agencies use internet connectivity to keep a watchful eye on users. If you’re concerned, you may want to limit the amount of time you spend connected to the internet via your smart TV. For peace of mind, consider investing in a complete security solution from a trusted provider.
Any device that connects to the internet is vulnerable to virus attacks. To combat this, you can purchase virus protection software and be selective over which applications you download.
We all enjoy having smart TVs as they bring families together and provide hours of entertainment. Considering their sentimental and monetary value, it’s important that we keep them as well protected as we can.