Can A Smart TV Be Hacked?

Smart TVs can be hacked, just like any other device that connects to the internet. If hackers get into your TV, they can access your smart tv’s camera and spy on you, steal your data, or even infiltrate other devices on your network.

If you are notice that your smart TV is acting strangely, turning on and off on its own, or has strange messages suddenly popping up, a stranger has likely gained access to it. We all know that computers are vulnerable to cyberattacks, but can TVs be hacked, too?

In this article, we’ll discuss how hackers get into your smart TV, list down signs that your TV is hacked, and give you valuable tips on what to do if you find that your TV is hacked.

How Do Hackers Get Access to Smart TVs?

Hackers Getting Access to Smart TVs

A survey conducted by NordVPN says about sixty percent of people own a smart TV, and one out of four of these individuals do not apply any sort of protection to their smart devices against malware.

So, can someone hack your tv?

Daniel Markuson, a digital security expert from NordVPN, said “Similar to other devices that connect to the internet regularly, smart TVs collect private data which exposes it to various privacy and security issues. But unlike other smart devices, you cannot install cybersecurity software to protect it, making it easy for cybercriminals to hack.”

But how exactly do hackers get into a smart TV?

Here are some of the most common ways that hackers attack smart TVs:

Wi-Fi Network

You make it easy for hackers to access your smart TV if your home network isn’t properly protected. They usually look for vulnerabilities in your network or router to gain access to a smart device, and eventually, all devices connected to that network.


Smart TVs run on operating systems just like phones and laptops. It’s important to regularly update these systems to avoid vulnerabilities and security flaws that hackers usually use to gain access to your device.


Many cyberattacks come from malware disguised as apps. Be careful about apps that you add to your TV and make sure you only download from official sources.

TV Settings

Another way that a hacker gets into a smart TV is through the device’s settings. Hackers constantly look for ways to attack and take advantage of gaps in the security settings, like enabled remote access.

USB and External Drives

Always check USBs, hard drives, and other devices for malware before connecting them to your TV. If you plug an infected storage device into your TV, it will install malicious software that hackers will use to infiltrate your network.

How Can I Tell If My Smart TV Is Hacked?

How to Tell If Smart TV Is Hacked

Just like when you’re unaware that your phone or laptop is infected with malware, it’s not always easy to tell whether your smart TV has been hacked. Hackers nowadays use sophisticated methods that are designed to be unnoticeable and untraceable.

However, there are red flags and subtle signs to look out for if you suspect that your TV has been hacked:

Unusual Activity

Sudden changes in your TV’s settings, turning on and off on its own, or switching between channels by itself are signs that someone else is controlling your TV.

While unusual activity may be caused by glitches in its system, it’s best to investigate until you can rule out hacking.

Reduced or Slow Performance

If your TV suddenly operates slowly out of the blue, it might be caused by malware running in the background. These malicious programs are difficult to detect, but a sudden slowdown is a telltale sign.

Change in TV Settings

If you find sudden changes in your privacy settings, especially camera or microphone permissions without your input, your smart TV has been most likely hacked.

Pop-Up Ads or Messages

The sudden appearance of ads, strange pop-ups, and messages on your TV screen is a sign that your device is infected with malware.

Unresponsive Remote Control

Another sign that your smart TV is hacked is when your remote control suddenly stops working in controlling the TV.

Try changing the batteries first – if it continues to fail, your TV is most likely infiltrated by a hacker.

Unauthorized Access

If you notice that someone is accessing your streaming accounts without your authorization or your smart tv is displaying the content without your permission, its a clear sign that your TV has been hacked.

Sudden Change or Increase in Data Usage

Generally, when you stream your favorite movies or shows on your smart TV, data usage fluctuates a bit. But, if that data usage is significant, it could be due to the hacked smart TV and the hacker using data in the background for streaming content or for malicious apps or purposes.

Unfamiliar Apps or Icons Appearing

Usually, in smart tvs, we do have to download apps to stream content but when you see new apps or icon on the home screen, there’s a great chance that you are a victim of smart tv hacking.

Hackers can install malware and steal personal information like login credentials, credit card informations and other sensitive data without letting smart tv owners know about this.

While having strong passwords is crucial, another security measure is to activate a virtual private network (VPN) for your router, ensuring the encryption of all data passing through it.

Missing or Deleted Content

Discovering missing or deleted content while navigating through your favorite streaming platform can be disconcerting. Initially, it may be perceived as a technical glitch, but there’s a possibility it signals a more serious issue – the influence of a hacker on your smart TV.

When cherished shows or movies disappear unexpectedly, it could be an indicator that your streaming accounts or smart devices have fallen victim to unauthorized access or compromise.

It underscores the importance of promptly addressing security concerns, such as updating passwords, enabling two-factor authentication, and reviewing the security settings on your smart TV and associated accounts to safeguard your digital content and personal information.

What Do I Do If My Smart TV Is Hacked?

what to do when smart tv is hacked

If you’ve confirmed that your television has been hacked, don’t panic – follow these tips to revert back to safety and protect your smart tv.

Keep Your Information Safe

If a hacker has access to your smart TV, they can likely see your activity in real-time. Do not input passwords or any sensitive information into any smart device connected to your network. If you can, log out of all accounts from your TV.

Install Anti-Malware

If possible, have reliable cybersecurity software scan your TV. These programs detect and quarantine potential malware, preventing it from doing further damage.

Disconnect from the Internet

If the hacker has total control of your TV’s interface and you’re unable to install anti-malware, disconnect your smart TV from the Internet immediately. This will help prevent the spread of the hack to other devices and may even cut off the hacker’s access.

Turn Off Your Smart TV

While it’s tempting to shut down the internet completely, it will be difficult to troubleshoot the issue without internet access. As an alternative, turn off your TV (better if you unplug it) to stall the hacker.

Do a Full System Reset

If all else fails, bring back your TV to its factory settings by rebooting your system completely. You will lose your apps and files, but it’s an effective way to get rid of malware and cut off the hacker’s access.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can someone control your TV remotely?

Smart TVs that are connected to the internet and if someone can get into the network there’s a good chance that your TV can be remotely controlled. So, it’s essential to secure your Wi-Fi network and regularly update your TV’s firmware to mitigate such risks.

Can a smart TV get malware?

Yes, smart TVs can get malware, just like other internet-connected devices. Malicious software can exploit security flaws in the TV’s operating system or applications.

Keeping your smart TV’s software updated, using a reliable antivirus, and being cautious about downloading apps from unverified sources can help reduce the risk of malware.

How do I know if my smart TV has a camera?

Check your TV’s user manual or specifications on the manufacturer’s website to determine if your smart TV is equipped with a camera.

Additionally, visually inspect the TV for a physical camera lens. If your TV has a camera, review privacy settings to control its usage, and consider using a physical cover when the camera is not in use.

Can someone see you through your smart TV?

In general, modern smart TVs are not designed to spy on users. However, certain privacy concerns have been raised regarding the potential misuse of built-in cameras and microphones. It’s recommended to review and adjust privacy settings on your smart TV, including disabling features you do not use, to enhance security and privacy.

Which smart TV is most secure?

The security of smart TVs can vary, and it’s essential to consider factors such as regular software updates, strong encryption protocols, and robust privacy features.

Brands like Samsung, LG, and Sony are known for implementing security measures in their smart TVs, but the specific model and its software version play a crucial role.

As per the reports and specifications, I found Neo QLED 8K as the most secure smart TV in the market.


Smart TVs can be hacked because they are internet-dependent. To protect your TV against hacks and cyberattacks, it’s important to secure your Wi-Fi router and apply strong security settings on your home internet system. It’s also essential to regularly check your TV’s privacy settings, disable remote access and automatic settings, and avoid connecting it to unsecured devices.

If you suspect that your smart TV has been hacked, act on it right away to avoid the spread of the problem.

You can also read more about why you shouldn’t buy a smart TV here.

Keshav Krishnan

I am an Engineer and passionate about Smart Homes and Home Improvements and spent years using, designing & working with Smart Home devices. I am on a mission to make Home Automation easy and affordable for everyone.

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