Your TV is spying on you, but you can stop it

Fun Fact: Compaq’s first portable computer shipped in 1983 and cost over $8,400 in today’s value. Wow, times have changed.

Still, your computer is a significant investment, and you want it to perform well for years to come. Tap or click for my five minute solution to speed up your PC.

You don’t have to deal with the same kind of problems with your TV, but a common question I get is the best method for removing fingerprints and dust. These are the wipes I keep buying. Spirit These smaller wipes are perfect for glasses, phone screens and computer monitors. Love her.

Unfortunately, you have to think about tracking on your TV the same way you would on a computer or phone. Read on to find out how you welcomed a spy into your living room — and what to do about it.

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The Netflix logo is seen on a TV remote control in Los Angeles in this illustrative photo taken on July 19, 2022.

The Netflix logo is seen on a TV remote control in Los Angeles in this illustrative photo taken on July 19, 2022.
(Chris Delmas/AFP via Getty Images)

Why are TVs so cheap?

Remember the days when a large flat screen TV was an absolute luxury item?

Now televisions come with a variety of bells, whistles and smart features, and you can buy top-of-the-line models for a fraction of the price. What is given?

It’s about the data. You already know that your private information is worth a lot of money. One way to stop greedy data brokers is to get away from their people search sites. Tap or click links and directions to get the job done.

Think of everything your TV knows about you and your family. This data makes up for the low price of new televisions. Over time, this data farming will bring in more money than you’ve ever made from these sets.

Are you buying a TV? There are many buzzwords and marketing terms that will make you want to spend more. Don’t fall for it. Here’s my shopping advice on what to skip and splurge on. Spoilers: Choose 4K, not 8K.

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Is it worth? It depends on

It’s hard to do much in the digital world without being tracked, monitored, or monetized in some way. Some people work hard to find ways around this, choosing to pay for extra privacy or use alternatives that focus on users, not data mining.

Tap or click six alternatives to Google Search.

Others throw up their hands and say this is the price we pay for free and cheap services and gadgets that we rely on to run our lives.

I fall somewhere in the middle. Yes, there’s a certain amount of tracking and data collection to swallow if you want to use everything from a smart assistant to your inbox.

But you don’t have to blindly consent to every collection method. There’s a lot you can do to take back your privacy, as long as you’re willing to dive into your device’s settings. Here are three quick privacy fixes you can do in minutes.

When it comes to your TV, this is where you should start.

Televisions go on sale in a major department store on February 2nd.  August 8, 2022 in Chicago.

Televisions go on sale in a major department store on February 2nd. August 8, 2022 in Chicago.
(Scott Olson/Getty Images/File)

Prevent your TV from spying

Many smart TVs come with cameras that most people don’t know exist. There’s not much you can do other than void the device’s warranty and remove it yourself. You could cover it up, but who wants electrical tape on their TV screen?

Start with your smart TV’s tracking capabilities — especially Automatic Content Recognition (ACR).

What is ACR and how to turn it off? It’s a visual recognition feature that can identify any commercial, TV show, or movie you’re playing on your TV. This includes streaming boxes, cable/over-the-air TVs, and even DVD and Blu-ray players.

This data is collected and used for marketing and targeted advertising purposes. If that all sounds too scary, there are ways to turn it off. The exact methods depend on the brand of your TV.

Vizio

For older Vizio TVs using Vizio Internet Apps (VIA), go to TVs system and then: Reset & Admin > Intelligent interactivity > the end.

On Vizio Smart TVs using the newer SmartCast system, go to system > Reset & Admin > View data > Turn it by two the end.

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Samsung

Go to on newer Samsung devices settings > Support > scroll down Terms & Policies. Here you can turn the end Displaying information services (Samsung’s ACR technology), Internet-based advertising (for personalized ad tracking) and voice recognition services.

For older Samsung Smart TVs, go to TVs Smart Hub menu > settings > Support > search Terms & Policies > then deactivate SyncPlus and Marketing. You can also disable voice recognition services in this section.

Remember that disabling your Samsung TV’s voice recognition services will disable its voice commands.

LG

LG’s ACR technology is built into its newer WebOS-powered smart TVs, known as LivePlus. To disable this go to settings > All settings > scroll down General > Scroll down to a setting called LivePlus > Turn it by two the end.

To restrict other forms of data collection on your LG Smart TV, go back to settings > All settings > scroll down General > About this TV > User Agreements > Toggle Personalized Ads the end.

Do you have a Roku, Fire TV, Sony, TCL or another brand? Tap or click here for steps to turn off tracking on your TV.

A Sony Bravia KD-65AF9 4K TV, taken on 9th 19th, 2018.

A Sony Bravia KD-65AF9 4K TV, taken on 9th 19th, 2018.
(Olly Curtis/What Hi-Fi Magazine/Future via Getty Images)

More steps to keep your habits private

If you’re hoping to minimize the impact of big data on your viewing experience, here are more tips to try.

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Keep your technical knowledge up to date

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