When I was a kid, I desperately wanted my own phone.

Eventually, in Grade 7, I got that Garfield phone with the handset tail and the extra long cord in my room. Every now and again, I’d ask for my own tv, but it never happened. No matter how hard I negotiated, the best I could hope for was “the kids’ tv” in our playroom hooked up to the Intellivision gaming system.

And now, as a parent, I’m going through these same negotiations — from the other side of the table.

Zacharie, my oldest, is in Grade 5. There have been whispers of request for his own phone, but “my own phone” in 2018 is a lot different than a cute Garfield landline with a handset tail. I’m holding off on the phone thing as long as possible, but I have tossed him a bone with a tv “just for the kids” in the playroom.

And even that, in 2018, means something very different.

SMART TVS ARE NOT YOUR DAD’S IDIOT BOX

The tv I got for the boys is a Sony Smart TV running Android.

It’s not plugged in to our Telus outlet, it’s only hooked up to the Nintendo Switch – and the internet. Being a Smart TV, it can also run apps. The boys have one click access to Netflix, they can call up shows on Amazon, or a variety of other content from the Google Play store.

Smart TVs in 2018 are very different than the hardwired idiot boxes of my youth. They are now, very much part of the Internet of Things (IoT), pulling content from various places on the web as opposed to just from a dumb connection in your wall. The tv can run apps, it is operated by voice commands, and even though it can’t pull a regular tv connection to the screen, it has a universe of content to display.

THE INTERNET OF THINGS AT RISK

In 2018 we are very much aware of risks associated with things connected to the internet. We take special care with our phones and computers because we use them to continually access the web – we’re used to it. BUT .. as we delve deeper into the Internet of Things, more and more devices will be online all the time.

Look around your house now, you could have an internet connected thermostat, doorbell, or even fridge.  With the new installation in the playroom, I now have an internet connected tv.

When things are connected to the internet they are at risk of downloading malware or having your id phished. When we don’t think of our things as internet devices, our guard is down and we are vulnerable. Could it happen to you? Well, 90 percent of Android TVs are vulnerable to hacking.

“As a platform gets a certain market share, and becomes used by a lot of people, then it will become a target,” Tony Anscombe of ESET mentioned on the e-ChannelNEWS podcast. “And interestingly think it may become more of a target because it may not be protected.”

At Mobile World Congress in February 2018, ESET demonstrated bitcoin mining malware running on a Smart TV, even when it was turned off.

It’s a mind shift that needs more awareness. We’re mostly savvy about protecting our computers, now we need to be aware of protecting our IoT devices as well.

ESET IS SMART TV SECURITY

I’ve already explained this tv will not be an idiot box in the traditional sense. My sons will be gaming on it, they’ll be downloading apps, programs, and connecting with friends through the web.

An Android TV is based on the standard Android used for smartphones, meaning the software can extend to any Android phone, and vice versa. This tv can do more than I ever thought a tv would be able to do, so the first thing I did after setting up the new gaming and streaming hub for my sons was to download the free ESET app from the Google Play store.

It was just a few clicks on the screen and it was all installed.

If you have multiple Android devices in your home, you can easily upgrade to the Premium Service for just $15 a year. This will enable you to have multi-device scanning for malware on devices and USBs connected to the TV. Scheduled scans, a Ransomware shield, and Anti-phishing technology is also offered on the premium version.

Here’s a video breakdown of how to install the ESET Smart TV Security solution:

WHAT ESET DOES

Android TV security can protect you from phishing scams that aim to mislead into signing premium services or stealing person data, crypto currency mining, and spying using TV sensors (like the microphone, camera, and user home presence recognition).

The new ESET Smart TV Security solution is an anti-virus protection specific to Android malware, new anti-ransomware technology that works to prevent screen-locks. The way this works is the user turns the TV off and in the background, ESET’s virus database is updated and the scanning process begins. When the ransomware is detected, ESET prompts the user to uninstall the malware; clearing the ransomware from the TV.

PROTECT YOURSELF WITH EDUCATION

Having the software running on your systems is one level of protection, but it’s no replacement for critical thinking. I’m constantly educating my boys about the internet, how to be secure, and how to behave online.

ESET has an online community at welivesecurity.com where you can keep up to date on latest hacker techniques, and tips to keep yourself safe. With cameras, microphones, and the Internet of Things all connected, have a better understanding of how things work and how they can be manipulated will help you keep your family safe.

Now that everything is all loaded and ready to go, who’s up for some Mario Kart!? I’ll call you on my Garfield phone to set up a date!

This post is sponsored by ESET

Features include:

  • Antivirus: protection against Android malware
  • Ransomware shield: If screen is blocked due to ransomware:
  •  The user is recommended to switch off and on TV. Simultaneously, virus database is being updated and scanning starts. If ransomware found, user is recommended to clean ransomware. If confirmed, ransomware is cleared.
  • Anti-phishing: protection from attempts to acquire sensitive information
  • USB On-The-Go Scan: The USB or other device connected to TV will be scanned for malware to avoid malware to actually get into TV device.
  • Scheduled Scan

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