The internet of things, in which all of our gadgets are plugged into data connections, will bring some terrible downsides along with its conveniences. We were blessed with a reminder of this uneasy future this morning when Samsung’s Twitter account for customer support tweeted a guide to performing a security scan on your television. Then Samsung deleted the tweet.
We’ve reached out to learn precisely why the tweet, which was first spotted by The Verge, was deleted because as awful and apocalyptic as it feels to run a virus scan on a TV, it’s increasingly necessary given the complexity of modern TV operation systems. You should add your TV to the list of devices you need to actively maintain with security updates.
Not every TV Samsung makes uses the same smart TV operating system. So this appears to only apply to the QLED lineup that starts at around $700 for a 43-inch 4K set.
In the since-deleted tweet, Samsung takes you through the scanning process step by step. Mercifully, it appears to be easy to do, according to the video Samsung posted. Just head into the General Settings, choose System Manager and then Smart Security and hit Scan. It’s not like you need to go and download a whole new service or pay for one or deal with obnoxious McAfee or Norton pop-ups. But you still have to keep your Samsung QLED TV up to date and regularly scan it (there doesn’t appear to be a setting for scheduling scans).
I don’t have to tell you that a reality in which we’re all constantly scanning our constantly expanding army of internet-connected devices is very unappealing. No one wants to run a scan for viruses on their TV. Most people are hardpressed to do it on laptops and phones.
It’s enough to make a person long for a dumb TV. That old tube TV my parents had may have weighed as much as a car, but I never had to worry about scanning it for viruses.
As for why Samsung decided to remind us of our doom, only to snatch away the reminder in under four hours—there’s no word yet. We’ve reached out to Samsung for clarity on the subject and will update once we know more.