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article imageSamsung: Time to start scanning your smart TVs for viruses

By Tim Sandle     Jun 17, 2019 in Technology
Smart televisions being at a risk to viruses is not the first area most people would consider in terms of cyber-risks. However, ever more sophisticated technology and renewed efforts by hackers presents such a risk
Samsung has issued a warning to those who own its smart television sets that the devices should be regularly virus-checked. This might surprise a few people and there will be many consumers who have never before considered running a virus scan on a television set and may well be unsure as to how to do this. However, smart TVs run web browsers and connect to app stores, and therefore face some the vulnerabilities that smartphones and conventional desktop computers face.
To support such bewildered owners of Samsung products, the company has prepared a 'how-to video', which is located on the Samsung Support USA Twitter account. The video provides instruction for the dozen or so remote-control button presses needed to access the sub-menu, from which the virus check can be activated. The convoluted nature to achieve this may itself put some users off.
Things are slightly simpler for the new generation of QLED sets, as CNET describes. To run a scan for viruses on a Samsung QLED TV: go to "settings"; then "general." Here, scroll to "system manager," select the tab labeled "smart security" and then "scan." This triggers a built-in anti-virus software which will scan the television.
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Despite the complexity, Samsung has recommended that users should carry out the process "every few weeks" to "prevent malicious software attacks".
Seeking to understand if a specific threat has prompted the warning, the BBC approached Samsung but the company denied there was any impending risk. Instead the company stated that the instructional video and accompanying warning tweet had been "posted for customers' education".
The new warning is not the first time that Samsung have connected their television sets with a data security matter. A couple of years ago Samsung warned customers not to discuss personal information in front of their smart television set. This was due to Samsung sometimes capturing data and transmitting it to a third party.
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