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Turn your TV into a Smart TV

by James Musoba
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Most new TVs sold today are smart, which means they can connect to your Wi-Fi and stream TV shows and movies, browse the internet, or run apps without an additional device. However, if you continue to use an older television, you may be missing out on some of the leading entertainment choices available. It’s easier than you think to turn your TV into a Smart TV with a little help from a device, such as a Fire Stick.

Additionally, you should be aware of how to update your firestick in order to avoid any security concerns that you would not experience with a traditional TV set. Let’s break down why you should turn your TV into a Smart TV, the advantages of an Amazon FireStick, and the privacy concerns to be wary of.

Why go smart?

Smart TVs are known for their optimized video processing, improved picture quality, and expanded features such as HDMI ports, on-demand streaming video, music playback, and much more. A regular TV, on the other hand, lacks processing power, which means it cannot be connected to the internet and does not provide the additional features found in a smart TV.

By converting your old TV into a smart TV, you will be able to access apps such as Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Prime, Disney+,  and many more. You only need Wi-Fi to access online content, and you can watch high-quality video content on the same screen.

Using an Amazon FireStick

One of the most popular methods to upgrade your TV to a Smart TV is through this handy little device. The Amazon FireStick is a streaming device that connects to your television and allows you to stream content from the internet. Amazon Fire TV Stick is the official name for FireStick. However, it is more commonly known as simply FireStick.

The FireStick is an Android-powered device. Unlike most Android devices, however, FireStick does not support Google Play. It runs a modified version of Android and supports the Amazon Store. You can use FireStick to watch movies, TV shows, live TV, and pretty much anything else you can think of. The Amazon Store contains dozens of apps, including some of the most popular, such as Netflix, Hulu, and others.

The voice-controlled AI, called Alexa, is one of the most appealing features of the FireStick. Alexa can help you with a variety of tasks. Simply press the mic button on your remote to ask Alexa to open apps, provide the weather forecast, locate nearby restaurants, or even tell a joke. Additionally, you can also download and play games with the FireStick.

At the moment, Amazon sells five different generations of the FireStick, and which will suit you best depends on your preferences.

Addressing security concerns

Keeping your FireStick updated with the latest software is vital in avoiding a breach of personal data. One of the most common online privacy mistakes people make is doing nothing at all and in this case, failing to update the default settings on new and existing devices. Given that not all device settings are pre-configured with privacy in mind, this is an important step in protecting your devices from any potential vulnerabilities – and this goes for the FireStick too. Not to mention that it is a simple precaution that will only take a few minutes to implement and could save you from a potential security disaster down the line.

When updating your FireStick, here are a few privacy steps you should consider:

  • Data monitoring – This is one of Amazon’s default settings and one of the most serious privacy risks. The data monitoring feature allows Amazon to collect user data regarding the app and device usage and is set to ‘ON’ when you first purchase your device. While this feature was intended to give users a better understanding of how much bandwidth they are using, it is not ideal for privacy.
  • Two-factor authentication – Using a just password to safeguard your Fire Stick is ineffective. This is because if your password is compromised, your entire account and associated data are vulnerable to cyber threats such as hacking, theft of data, and malware. You may use two-factor authentication to provide an extra layer of security to your Fire Stick. This feature, also known as 2FA, is a security measure that requires two steps to access your device and log in to your accounts. Fortunately, you can enable 2FA for your Fire Stick under your Amazon account.
  • Add a VPN –  If you want an all-around security tool to cover all of your bases, consider adding a VPN to your Fire Stick. A  VPN I s an encryption technique that prevents outside parties from viewing or accessing your internet traffic. It’s short for virtual private network. A VPN, which uses encryption to scramble network traffic and disguise your IP address, makes it simple to entirely protect your Fire Stick activities from potential outside dangers.

 

 

 

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