Do I need an antivirus on a TV with Smart TV

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Written By O. Love

In 2019, Samsung added McAfee antivirus software to its smart TVs, later noting that a full scan should be run every few weeks. True, this only applies to TVs connected to Wi-Fi – this does not affect devices that work offline.

In fact, just imagine what time we live in: an antivirus is needed even on a TV! Moreover, it will not be difficult to install it: there are applications in the pre-installed Google Play . There should be no problems with the choice of anti-virus software – even inexpensive models will work without glitches.

Today we will figure out whether it is necessary to install an antivirus on a TV and in what cases it is needed the most.

Understanding whether an antivirus is needed for a smart TV

Viruses on TV

There is a chance that your Smart TV will be hacked , but it is extremely low: most likely, an attack, if it happens, will use a vulnerability in the operating system itself that the antivirus cannot detect.

This is called a “zero-day attack” and to avoid it, the manufacturer must release a software update with security fixes.

In fact, there is no point in infecting the TV with viruses. Only vulnerabilities in the system are dangerous

Like most devices, an update can fly silently and install automatically, but this happens very rarely, and the support period is extremely short – let alone TVs that still have not received Android 12, although the next version is already on the way.

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So, if your TV has not been updated for a long time, then the antivirus will not hurt you, especially when it comes to Android TV.

Set-top boxes are less prone to virus infection: they are compact, you can always disconnect from the Internet, and in most cases they are used for video streaming using built-in applications. You can completely forget about antivirus for TV if you use an Apple TV or Chromecast, as well as a device based on Google TV: they are created exclusively for watching videos.

Viruses on Android

In the best case, the antivirus is useful in order to do a check once a month.

On the other hand, if we are talking about Android TV, then we immediately mean the ability to install third-party applications from other sources, simultaneously giving them various permissions: these can be browsers with the ability to download content, Google Play analogues and other applications that are more convenient than standard ones, but they security may be an issue.

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By the way, there are viruses on Android, there are fewer of them than on Windows, but there are plenty of vulnerabilities. It is also worth bearing in mind that not every antivirus software is able to scan in the background, and if it does, then the TV starts to get dumb, the picture slows down, especially if you run a lot of applications and watch 4K videos.

Antivirus for Android TV

What do you use your Android TV for? I am sure, firstly, to view content on YouTube and other streaming services or from removable media. Secondly – for games directly on the TV or set-top box. Google Chrome and instant messengers are already a very rare case: whatever one may say, Android TV is not particularly suitable for this.

Personally, I do not know a single person who would store some important data, documents or photos on the TV. In addition, subscriptions are mostly paid from the phone, so there is not much to lose, except for the theoretical hacking of a Google account. Add to this the fact that you can’t pay for applications on Google Play – it turns out that antivirus is not really needed.

You can install anti-virus on a TV only if you use Smart TV to the fullest: to install applications, you often connect removable media (flash drives, memory cards, external hard drives), browsers for Internet surfing. In any case, the antivirus on the TV should be downloaded solely at your discretion: after all, cases when Smart TV has been hacked are extremely rare.

As for the choice of antivirus for the TV, then you can safely install any available from Google Play. Try ESET Smart TV Security : it is designed specifically for Android TV and set-top boxes based on this OS. The free version has everything you need.

  • Scanning for installed applications.
  • Manual scanning.
  • Checking files on removable media.
  • Screen blocker protection.
  • Allows you to select an action to take when a virus is detected.
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In general, ESET is almost no different from Dr.Web with one difference: in the second application, you can send files to quarantine to secure the system. But what you will definitely need is VPN for TV.

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