We love computers, smartphones, video games, and Roku TVs. Smart TVs like the Roku are big computer monitors with great images. But, it begs the question, now that TVs are computers, can my Roku get a virus?
Yes, your Roku can get a virus. But to understand the harmful effects a virus can or cannot do, we’ll need to discuss what viruses and malware can do to your Roku TV.
Apart from viruses, many users wonder if their Roku can be hacked. We’ll touch on that subject and show if you need to protect your Roku with virus protection. We’ll also show you many ways to secure your Roku.
Keep reading to find out what happens if your Roku gets a virus.
- Can My Roku Get a Virus?
- Can My Roku Be Hacked?
- Does Roku Have Virus Protection?
- How do I Secure my Roku?
- A Happy Roku with a Happy User
Can My Roku Get a Virus?
Theoretically, a Roku can get a virus. Considering a Roku is a type of computer. But what happens if you get a virus?
Roku suggests only downloading supported apps. Otherwise, you run the risk of accidentally downloading a virus or malware.
On a positive note, a virus can’t create havoc on your Roku TV like a regular computer. A simple factory reset will clear any viruses from its system.
The worse thing that can happen is you’ll download malware that can sometimes run in the background and cause your TV to crash often. However, Roku TVs do not usually contain sensitive information that a virus can steal.
In other words, the risks are minimal and not as harmful as you expect.
When it comes to scary things that can happen with computers like Roku TV, a virus is the least of your worries.
If viruses are not a reason for concern, then what about hackers? Can my Roku be hacked?
Let’s find out.
Can My Roku Be Hacked?
The popularity of any electronic device makes it a target for potential malware, viruses, and even hackers. However, many people wonder if malicious people can hack their Roku.
The truth is, a Roku, like any computer, can get hacked. However, a hacker cannot hack the TV directly. A hacker would have first to gain access to your Roku app. They would need your passwords to gain permission to access your wifi network. Then the hacker needs to be on the same network to gain access to your Roku TV.
A hacker gaining access to your TV means they have access to record what you view. They can, in turn, sell that information to third parties.
Hackers will also have access to any data the Roku has stored, such as credit card information. They’ll have access to the channels and other functions.
They’ll have complete control of the TV. They can change the channel, play offensive content and scare you. So, if you’re wondering if a ghost invaded your TV, it might be a hacker.
Does Roku Have Virus Protection?
It makes sense that virus protection for a computer system like a smart TV would be available. However, when it comes to Roku, it appears that there is no virus protection available.
Roku states that each channel is rigorously protected by hackers and viruses by protecting each channel’s intellectual property individually. Therefore, it’s protected against unauthorized access through multiple means.
Roku protection starts from the conception of an app to protect the individual’s property from piracy and unauthorized distribution.
It creates a secure key and encryption engine that protects all data.
However, they also ensure that all data passes through SSL encryption which needs a separate authentication for both client and servers. In other words, all data is secure from end to end.
Additionally, applications are “sandboxed.” Therefore they run on a different part of the system that’s protected against itself. This is helpful because the hacker will only have access to this area in the unlikely event that a hacker breaks into the app. In a sense, applications cannot interact with other applications on the Roku.
Consequently, applications store sensitive data on specific servers, not on the TV itself.
Even though Roku states that their TVs are very safe from hackers, viruses, and malware, users are worried.
If you’re one of these users and want to know how to protect your Roku and yourself from a hacker invasion (or virus), don’t worry, we’ll tackle that next.
How do I Secure my Roku?
Now you’re worried about hackers, viruses, and malware. So how do you secure your Roku and protect it against nasty internet “baddies?”
You can do several things to protect your TV against all harm.
1) Have a Strong Password
The first line of defense against hackers is a strong password. These days every website requires you to add special characters, uppercase and lowercase letters, and even numbers.
With so many rules about making strong passwords, you’ll inevitably get confused. The best way to remember a long, complicated password is to make it into a sentence. For example, you can have “1)TodayIhadPizzaForBreakfast!”
This password meets all of the requirements for a strong password, and it’s easy to remember.
2) Have a Proper Email Address
An email address always goes hand in hand with a password. Going through a legitimate company for an email address, like Gmail, is best. Stay away from unheard-of email recipients.
Companies like Google spend a lot of money creating strong security for their users. A solid and secure email address is a good step towards securing your electronics, including your smart TV.
3) Avoid Bad Websites, Clickbait, and Phishing Scams
Even with a strong password and legitimate email address, hackers will try to find ways to steal that information.
That’s why you should stay away from websites that have a lot of pop-ups or feel sketchy in any way.
Avoid tricky clickbait articles. You never know if someone embedded malicious code in that link. Suppose you’re interested in that article. The best thing to do is search for it using a search engine like Google.
Don’t open spam emails or click on any unknown or unauthorized links within them.
Many times phishing scammers bait you with an enticing link that gives them an entry into your computer. Hackers can then steal your strongest passwords and personal information.
4) Get a VPN
A VPN is a great tool and an underused one at that. A VPN blocks unwanted data from going in or out of your computer. Therefore, hackers cannot get in and view anything on your computer. Think of VPNs like an invisible shield that “blacks out” your computer.
VPNs are inexpensive and keep your computer secure. Even if you’re internet fails, VPNs have a “kill switch” that immediately blocks any unwanted intruder, data, or malware from entering your device.
You can install one VPN subscription on your computer, smartphone, and modem to protect your laptop and anything connected to your wifi network. They’re amazing.
5) Disable App Features on Your Roku
Roku gives you the option to connect your TV to your smartphone via the Roku app.
The Roku app is like a virtual remote control. It allows you to control your TV in case you lose the remote. However, you’ll have to be on the same network as your TV to use the app.
This also means it’s susceptible to hackers if they get your password.
One way of dealing with this situation is to disable this feature in your TV settings.
6) Enable 2-Factor Authentication
If you have the option to enable 2-Factor authentication, you should enable it.
2-Factor authentication is one of the latest security measures many companies are using.
2-Factor means they use two data points to ensure the correct user is using the device.
The most common form of 2-Factor authentication is when you enter a password on a website, and then it prompts you to enter your phone number so they can send you a secure (and secret) code.
This code is then typed into the website to authenticate that you, the user, received it.
2-Factor authentication systems are great because they’re tough to hack or go around.
Someone would have to know your password, know your phone number, and have access to your smartphone to use the secret code.
It makes 2-Factor authentication one of the most secure systems in place today.
Check out the video by Cord Cutter News, where they walk you through some of the points we mentioned above.
A Happy Roku with a Happy User
As you can see, it’s possible for a Roku TV to get a virus, malware, or even get hacked. However, taking the proper measures to secure your network, Roku TV, and even your computer can help you avoid these issues.
We hope you learned valuable information today and are taking steps to secure your Roku. Whether that’s using a VPN or disabling specific settings, you now have the total power of security.
Now that we feel safe, let’s boot up our smart TV and play something fantastic! It’s movie time.
James Quintanilla is a technical copywriter. Although his experience allows him to write on many topics, he loves to focus on tech and travel. As a freelancer, James has worked on projects with Pointer Clicker, Lonely Planet, and the Travel Channel. When he’s not writing or planning his next adventure, he’s watching a scary movie.