Samsung’s recent release of a how-to virus check video coupled with the advice to complete the check “every few weeks” has caused confusion and concern among customers.
At the heart of Samsung’s virus-checking information release was a 19-second video guide that Samsung said had been posted simply to educate and inform customers. The video guide, which was watched more than 200,000 times, was presented to customers via a tweet which it is reported, has since been deleted.
The video showed Samsung TV owners how to access the sub-menu and go to the System Manager to conduct their own “Smart Security Scan”.
Although this feature is already built-in to Samsung TVs, it was the fact that the tweeted video contained the advice that customers would need to carry out the scan themselves every few weeks to prevent malicious software attacks that caused concern that there were known attack attempts or that their QLED TVs were vulnerable in some way.
Samsung is since reported to have said that the video was simply for information and was a proactive way to remind and educate customers that the feature existed and how to operate it as a preventative measure and that the video was not sent as a reaction to a specific current threat.
What Are The Risks?
A smart TV is essentially an IoT device, and as such, faces similar potential risks to other IoT devices, although Samsung TVs don’t appear to be at any more of risk than other devices. In fact, back in 2017, after claims that many zero-day vulnerabilities had been found in Samsung’s smart TV operating system, the company reminded users that its TVs already contained features that allowed them to detect malicious code at platform and application levels.
That said, Samsung’s Smart TVs are likely to have a built-in microphone, an Internet connection with streaming apps, and customers may enter credit card details for buying on-demand video content. All this means that the potential privacy and security risks exist.
What Does This Mean For Your Business?
It appears that security and privacy are very sensitive subjects for consumers and that an attempt to remind customers about a security feature ended up highlighting one of the risks of owning a smart TV, leading to concern and an unnecessary PR gaffe.
In the light of the tweet and video, some security commentators have criticised Samsung for making security checks the responsibility of the customer rather than the company sending out automatic security updates. Also, the company may be expecting too much of some of its customers to ask them to delve into the perhaps complicated sub-menu to find the virus scan feature, and to do so on a regular basis.