Who could think that a smart TV comes with a camera? Many people do not know the fact that their smart TVs have cameras. I was really astonished when I knew this fact.
I am thankful that my smart TV does not have one. But, you may be thinking; what’s the purpose of a camera on a smart TV, where they are located, and how to find them.
Another thought may also be coming to your mind that is it risky to have a camera on your TV.
I know you are eager to ask many other questions. But, do not worry. I will answer all of your questions in this article.
A Real Case of Smart TV Spying
Recently, it happened with my friend that someone hacked his smart TV. He was being spied on and his accounts were also hacked.
The cybercriminal took control of his TV and accessed his personal data. He filed a complaint in the Cybercrime department.
After a long struggle, he managed to block the spies and get back his accounts with the official help.
This incident alerted me and I took some measures to secure my smart TV. I would detail those precautions at the end of this guide.
Purpose of Camera on a TV?
The main purpose of a camera on a smart TV is facial recognition. As you know, a smart TV works with the internet and has many services and apps.
So, it may require a face ID under certain conditions. The facial recognition feature is used to switch viewing suggestions.
The audience of your TV can be different such as kids, adults, and the elderly. The camera is also used for video calls via the TV.
What Data does a Smart TV Collect?
Smart TVs collect your personal data such as viewing preferences, search history, and even IP address.
They rely on ACR (automatic content recognition) technology to keep a track of your preferences. This data helps advertisers and channels to suggest your desired programs and show you the targeted ads.
Is it Risky to Have a Camera on My TV?
Since your smart TV collects data, the risk is that your TV can be attacked by hackers. Because it is a part of the World Wide Web.
These hackers can collect your personal data and can spy on you through the TV camera and mic. Moreover, some malicious or fake websites can also do this.
Do All Smart TVs Have Cameras?
All the smart TVs do not come with a camera installed. Some latest models come with a built-in camera.
If your TV has a camera, it should be mentioned in the user manual or specifications. Two models of LG smart TVs feature a built-in camera.
One is the LG 55-inch Cinema 3D smart TV LA9600. The second is LG LA8600, which is also a 55-inch smart TV.
Likewise, other TV brands such as Sony, Hisense, Samsung, and TCL may also have specific models with cameras.
Where is the Camera on My Smart TV?
The camera is generally located on the TV frame or bezel. It can be located at the upper edges. You can see a small circular lens on the front panel above the screen.
This camera is just like the tiny front camera hole you find on your laptop, tablet, or smartphone. Some TVs have thin bezels which hide the camera.
It can be a retractable camera that can pop out when needed. Try to find it at the back of the top edge.
How Do I Know If My Smart TV has a Camera?
Whatever TV brand you own including Sony, Samsung, LG, Hisense, or TCL TV, I will guide you on how to locate the camera.
First, you can check the TV physically to find out a camera. Further, certain signs indicate that your TV features a built-in camera. You can confirm by following steps;
- Check if your smart TV features facial recognition
- Can you video chat or use Skype via your smart TV?
- Can you use face ID on certain apps?
- Read the user manual, it must mention the camera feature.
- Check the specifications of your TV to confirm whether it has a camera or not.
- Closely look at the upper part of the TV frame to locate the tiny camera hole.
Can Someone See Me Through My Smart TV Camera?
Generally, it is not possible for someone to see you through your smart TV camera. As I mentioned the purpose of TV cameras.
However, if a hacker or cybercriminal hacks your TV, it is possible. A hacker can breach your Wifi network to access the TV camera.
Since all of your devices are connected to your home Wifi network, it will be easier for the hacker to access your personal data. So, if the TV is hacked, its camera can be used to record your videos.
Also read: 6 Ways to Access TV Menu without a Remote
8 Authentic Tips to Secure Your Smart TV and Block Spies
If you suspect someone is spying on you, secure your TV. Even if there is nothing suspicious, you should take precautionary measures. Here I will suggest you some tips to secure your TV and block spies.
1. Cover the Camera
You can make your TV camera dysfunctional. Just stick a thick colored tape on the camera lens. Another trick is to paste a piece of cardboard over the camera.
Sometimes, the user cannot locate the camera. An easy solution is to start a video chat on Skype or any other app.
Place your finger at various points on the bezel. Paste the cardboard where the screen blacks out.
2. Disable Unnecessary Features
Just like smartphones, smart TVs also have many features. You should turn OFF unwanted features. For this, you have to understand your TV.
Explore its settings, functions, and user manual to find out unwanted features. You can also read online articles to know your TV.
For instance, type your TV’s model number and then a keyword such as “Privacy” or “Camera”.
3. Customize Default Settings
Your TV comes with default factory settings. Obviously, they are designed to provide maximum benefit to the manufacturer.
Because smart TV companies sell your data to advertising companies. So, change the default settings to your benefit.
Turn off GPS, location access, cameras, microphones, and access to personal data. Disable the voice recognition feature from settings.
4. Use Stronger Passwords
Moreover, replace the default password with a stronger one. Change the PIN code of your TV. Further, use stronger passwords for your app accounts.
Also, set an unbreakable password on your home Wifi network. It is better to change it periodically.
5. Update Your TV Regularly
Software updates are very helpful in protecting your smart TV. Because every latest update comes with malware fixes. So, it removes bugs related to any website or app.
You can check the latest software updates in the settings. I have enabled the automatic update feature on my TV.
In this case, you will not need to check repeatedly and your TV will update itself automatically.
Your smart TV, apps, streaming services, and Wifi modem, all have privacy policies. Normally, you accept it without reading carefully.
Do not allow the apps to access all of the functions on your TV. Further, you should delete extra and useless apps to avoid any risk.
7. Secure Your Home Network
If you own a lot of smart devices and have created a smart home, you are at a greater risk of hacking. All of your smart devices connect to your home network.
It is the key to access to your home and sensitive information. So, you need to secure your home Wifi. Do not tell your password to everyone.
Download Avast One on your phone or laptop. This app helps to protect you against cyber attacks.
8. Disable ACR Feature
Almost all smart TVs come with ACR or “Automatic Content Recognition” technology. It monitors your viewing habit and then shows you the targeted ads.
This technology can access your IP address and location. Hence, you should disable it without any delay. However, it has different names on different brands.
You can find it in the “Settings” menu of your TV under the “System, Support, or About” section. Here is the list of names of ACR features on different brands;
Samsung: Viewing Information Services or Sync Plus and Marketing
Vizio: Viewing Data or Smart Interactivity
LG: Live Plus User Agreement
Sony: Interactive TV Settings or Samba Interactive TV
9. Watch Video for More Information
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some interesting queries that naturally come to your mind. They will add more to your knowledge.
Is the red light on my TV a camera?
The red light is the standby indicator and not the camera on your TV. This light remains ON when power is connected to the TV but its screen is OFF. The red light can be the Infrared receiver to which you point the remote control.
Can my smart TV listen to me?
Many latest TVs come with built-in microphones. Although they cannot listen to your daily talks yet they can collect your data via ACR technology.
This data is used by advertising companies to know your preferences and to show you specific ads. Just turn OFF the microphone and ACR feature.
Does my Samsung TV have a camera?
Not all but some newer Samsung TVs are equipped with a camera. For example, Samsung F7, F8, and F9 series feature a camera. It is located at the top bezel.
Why Sony Bravia TV has a camera?
Sony Bravia TV features BRAVIA CAM. It is used to recognize your presence in the room. The camera detects your distance from the TV. Then, the device adjusts sound and picture settings automatically.
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Smart gadgets have made our life easier. But, they are a potential risk to our privacy. Therefore, we should remain alert.
Besides a TV whatever device you own, take necessary measures to protect it. Because cybercriminals are always there to test their abilities.
In this guide, I have recommended many valuable actions to protect your smart TV and home.
Now, if your smart TV has a camera, you do not need to worry anymore. Just follow this guide to secure it from spies and enjoy yourself.