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Got a Vizio smart TV? Here's how to stop it from spying on you

how to stop vizio smart tvs sharing viewing habits m series
Digital Trends/Jeff Van Campe

Like many smart-TV makers, Vizio has been on the hot seat lately thanks to news that its smart TVs were sharing data with third-party vendors — particularly an instance in which Vizio’s penchant for sharing what viewers watch with advertisers made the TVs vulnerable to a hack. Vizio claims it has since fixed those vulnerabilities, but if you’d like to make sure your TV doesn’t open its yapper anymore, here’s the quickest way to tell your smart TV to keep things to itself.

Using what Vizio calls “Smart Interactivity,” Vizio’s smart TVs collect info about what you watch, which then tells advertisers to, say, trigger a pop-up which coincides with what you’re watching. Now, we all love pop-ups, but just in case you’d like to take a break from them, here’s how to make sure that Smart Interactivity is deactivated.

Related: Avast finds vulnerabilities in Vizio smart TV

If you have an older Vizio Smart TV with the VIA TV interface, press the Menu button on your remote control, and scroll down to get into the Settings menu of your TV. You’ll then want to scroll down until you find the Smart Interactivity tab, and highlight it. After that, it’s as simple as tapping on the right arrow of your remote and changing the setting from On to Off. And that’s it.

If, however, you have the newer VIA Plus TV interface,  you will need to dig just a bit deeper. To do so, either press the Menu button on your remote, or go into the HDTV Settings app. Then select System>Reset & Admin. Again, you’ll want to highlight Smart Interactivity and change the settings to Off.

Once done, as far as Vizio has disclosed, your TV will no longer share your viewing habits with Joe Q. Advertiser, and you can rest easy knowing that, whatever you watch, it’ll be between you, the wall, and your smart TV.