Apple TV, one of the most popular streaming devices today, can receive content from multiple media sources and is connected to your home Wi-Fi network. With that in mind, it’s natural to be curious: Is an Apple TV susceptible to hacking?
In fact, all devices with an Internet connection are at risk. While much research hasn’t been done yet on the particular vulnerabilities of Apple TV, general consensus suggests that with proper precautions and regular software updates, it should be relatively safe from external hacks. Thus, the protection of your own data depends on the actions of the user.
Can My Apple TV Be Hacked?
Despite their utility and convenience, Smart TVs pose a unique set of security challenges. As the 2017 WikiLeaks document leak highlighted, Smart TVs can be targeted with hacking tools that remotely activate their microphones and surveil conversations without users’ knowledge. While Apple TV doesn’t have a camera, it’s not 100% secure either. Companies must take into account the increased risk posed by sensitive data being stored on home networks also used by Apple TVs. For example, the 2018 User Risk Report highlighted troubling trends in personal cybersecurity habits. 4 out of 6 surveyed countries indicated that home networks have devices used for work-related tasks – introducing an additional point of vulnerability into an already precarious ecosystem. Companies must think critically about the potential impact of vulnerabilities in Smart TV systems.
How Do I Make My Apple TV Private?
Apple TV security is always under threat as hackers get smarter and exploit more and more different vulnerabilities. However, the developers do not sleep, closing some of the vulnerabilities. To a large extent, the security of the device depends on your actions. The following steps will help you stay safe.
#1 Disconnect from Wi-Fi networks
Disconnecting from the internet may seem like a drastic measure, but for some, it is the only way to really keep their Smart TVs and Apple TV from leaking data into the wrong hands. While there are risks associated with continuing to stream using separate devices, Wired’s security news editor Brian Barrett explains that at least this way you have more control over who is accessing your information. This is especially true if you are familiar with the privacy settings of the streaming box or dongle being used and can ensure that your data stays secure. While it may be inconvenient to not have all the benefits of a connected smart TV, having an extra layer of control over your data could end up being worth it in the long run.
Although the option to disconnect Apple TV from the Internet is the most reliable, it is impractical. To stay online and protect yourself from hacking, you should use a VPN on Apple TV. But even here, not everything is so simple, because VPN for Apple TV is very difficult to choose due to the peculiarities of the platform. The only way is to set up a VPN via your router on all Apple TVs: with the help of a router and a VPN, you can indulge in the pleasures of watching movies and other content online while being safe. When comparing different VPN apps, VeePN turned out to be one of the most reliable. It has a free version, a no-logs policy, a strong encryption system, data interception protection, etc. At the moment, this is the best security solution not only for Apple TV but also for any device with a network connection.
#3 Regular Software/Firmware Updates
Keeping your software and firmware up to date is essential to the safety of your personal information and online security. While upgrades may take time, this is well worth doing rather than risk your data or accounts being infiltrated or altered. You don’t want to be in the same boat as those who were victims of the CIA security exploit on smart TVs, made possible by outdated firmware. Fortunately, many television devices are now equipped with an automated upgrade function, so you can make sure that your system always has the latest updates without having to do any of the work yourself.
#4 Check your privacy settings
It can be so easy to forget about privacy settings, particularly when it comes to setting up a new device like a TV or set-top box. When you’re in rush mode, it’s hard to take the time to review all the policy statements and read up on what data your TV is collecting beyond default settings. With recent scandals involving data collection by large tech companies, it’s more important than ever to protect your details and privacy—and this applies when setting up a home TV too! It may take time but reading up on the company’s policies will ensure that you’re only agreeing to the basics and not providing any extra sensitive information that could be used in ways you didn’t intend.
#5 Do not use third-party devices
A very important security measure is to try not to connect third-party devices to Apple TV. Some USB flash drives may be infected with a virus. The host may also be unaware of the virus injection on their device. Through unsecured and unverified devices, viruses can enter the Apple TV software and gain access to your data.
How do I stop someone from trying to access my Apple TV? Yes, it’s very simple, you just need to limit the circle of access to the device, install a VPN and monitor the device for updates. No one will be able to hack my Apple TV if it is up to date, using a private virtual network and the correct settings. The measures listed should be sufficient to guarantee the safety of the device. Given that the main use of Apple TV is to watch movies and series, there may not be valuable data there. But still, it is better to approach the issue of security consciously and with awareness of the responsibility for your privacy.