Samsung UN46H5203AFXZA 46" 1080p Full HD TV. Image obtained with thanks from Samsung.

Considering that modern smart TVs (specifically the variant that allows you to install apps) run operating systems and can execute code downloaded online, there is a considerable risk of malware (virus) infestations.

Malware on such devices is often obtained from one of the following three sources:

  • App store.
  • Side-loaded apps.
  • Web browsing (more specifically, visiting websites infected with malware).
  • Removable media (USB drive containing that sketchy app you’ve been waiting for).

Unsecured Wi-Fi networks also pose a risk. Samsung allegedly Tweeted that users should scan their QLED TVs for viruses, as they should scan their computers. I couldn’t find the Tweet myself, but it would have been a very good PSA, as it is not only true — but important. If your TV runs Android or another popular OS, then the risk of a virus infection is considerable. Just as risky as a phone or tablet.

Antivirus software can be installed via app stores easily, and is generally a good idea! You should also take a look at my other privacy and security tips for Android devices.