Smart TV’s have been popular for a number of years but I’m going to let you know why you shouldn’t buy a smart TV and why I don’t have one.
Sure, like most people, I’ve been tempted but, the bottom line is that smart TV’s are a massive security risk and a threat to your personal privacy. The reasons are pretty straight forward:
- The TV manufacturer will know exactly what you do and when. They’ll know what services you are signed up for, how often you use them and what you watch and listen to. And they use this info to target advertising at you.
- The apps on the TV are never as secure (or as good) as the native apps from those companies. Part of this reason is that the security on the TV and the apps is not updated as regularly and may not be receiving updates at all.
- The camera and the microphone on the TV can be hacked – and have been. This insecure IOT (Internet of Things) TV can then become a gateway to the rest of your private network.
- The interface to apps on smart TV’s are generally not as intuitive or functional as the native apps.
- There’s no keyboard or mouse to search or enter information and the onscreen keyboard and navigation simply can’t be as good as touch. Of course you can use voice – but that’s a whole other issue which we’ll talk about at another time.
Personally, I find the best solution is a ‘dumb’ TV or a smart TV with the ‘smart’ not used. Personally, I use a tablet and my phone to access all the apps and services that I use.
Why you should use a tablet or phone instead of a smart TV:
- Flexibility. The apps are all on the tablet and can be used with multiple TV’s and speakers.
- Tablets and phones have touchscreens and easier to use onscreen keyboards.
- Information control. Yup, each app provider (netflix, spotify, etc) all know what we do on their apps, can’t get around that, but not what we do on the other apps – if you have the right controls in place.
- Privacy. The device manufacturers don’t know all your activities. Not the tablet manufacturer nor the TV supplier. This helps protect your personal privacy.
Then there’s the security element:
- The apps on the tablet (or phone) are auto updated and current so app security is less of an issue. Plus you get all the new feature updates in the app as they become available.
- The TV itself is not going online so there are less opportunities for it to be hacked. Make it a ‘dumb’ TV, not a ‘smart’ IOT TV.
- Your anti-virus on your tablet or smartphone is protecting you and checking the content you interact with. If you don’t have anti-virus on your tablet or phone yet, I strongly recommend that you get some.
Yes, it may appear that it’s wonderful to have everything on your smart TV but the reality is, it’s not as secure and doesn’t work as well as using the app natively. So, why take the risk.