The smarter home: How to cut the cord with a smart TV

Have you heard about cutting the cord? It’s a way to replace cable television that has grown in popularity as more people are upgrading to Smart TVs and video streaming devices. Renting equipment from cable service providers can be costly, and for many cutting the cord can also cut the bill. If you’re on the fence here are a few tips to get you started and most importantly home network security best practices to consider. Smart TVs are making headlines for faulty security and privacy risks. So when you cut the cord, stream smarter and more secure. Here’s how:

Step one: A smart TV

Smart TVs make it easier than ever to cut the cord. That’s because they come with native apps that make cutting cable basically seamless. Whether it’s a branded app for a streaming service like Netflix or YouTube, it is easy to watch digital-first programming from your Smart TV. No more watching your favorite shows on the small screen of a laptop. With most Smart TVs you can also browse the web.

Step two: Streaming services

Streaming services are key to cutting the cord. Almost everyone who is cutting the cord is using at least one major streaming service like Amazon Prime, Netflix or Hulu. On top of that, there are more specialized streaming services like those offered by sports networks or premium subscription cable channels.

Step three: A cord cutting device

You might be familiar with video streaming devices like Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV or Roku. These are devices that make it easier to cut the cord by delivering media to your television, no Smart TV required. These devices often come with a wide array of free apps and video content that you can download or stream. Out of the box setup is usually as easy as simply connecting to your home network, plug, and play.

Step four: Stay safe
When you’re setting up a new device on your home network, you need to make sure that it’s safe. Remember, every internet connected device in the home is an access point to your network and your home security is only as strong as the weakest link. Smart TVs have lately some under fire for not having security protocols in place. The best thing you can do to is to mind your home network security:

The key to keeping your home network safe is your router. For starters, always change the default password when you setup a new router out of the box. Keeping the default password can leave your home network exposed to hacking. Cybercriminals often have access to hardware password defaults, and can hack into a device with little effort.

Keep your Smart TV and streaming device software and apps updated. One of the main ways that hackers breach your system is by using known exploits in software. Updates patch these exploits.

Protect what you can
The best way to defend all of your devices is to protect what comes in contact with your network. The router is essentially the front door to your online world. Over the past year at Norton, we’ve been keeping a close eye on the Internet of things threat landscape. We are seeing that IoT devices are now being attacked on an average of every two minutes. As a result, we’re proud to announce the brand new Norton Core router.Available for pre-order now, Norton Core is your “Digital Deadbolt” to your connected home. The first and only high performance, secure router with Norton protection bundled into it.

Another important way to get ahead of the bad guys is to participate in your own Internet security. Educate yourself about the threats out there and how they can affect you. Use security software, research your devices and secure them, and tell your friends to do the same! When more of us stay protected together, attackers will have fewer targets to take advantage of.

Cutting the cord can save you hundreds of dollars a month. It might cost a little bit to get you up and running, but once you are, you’ll be glad that you did.

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