How to Protect Your Fire TV Stick from Online Threats, Malware Attacks, and Viruses?
If you have been searching long for an affordable and feature-packed streamer, the Fire TV Stick might just be the perfect device to consider. However, despite the ease of usage, unmatched flexibility, and cost-effectiveness, a Firestick is also prone to threats, concerning malware, viruses, and other online abominations.
While getting used stealthily by a crypto mine is one of the more obvious threats, staying connected to the wireless network can also render the Firestick vulnerable if the network itself isn’t protected well.
Why does Amazon Fire Stick require protection?
Barring the threats posed by the crypto miners, a Firestick is also open to attacks from diverse verticals. While the internal hardware module, comprising 8GB storage, 1GB RAM, and a videocore GPU can be hacked into, the dual-band wireless support is also easy to bypass, if unscrupulous agents feel like it.
As the very essence of a Firestick involves sideloading applications from disparate sources, you must make arrangements to counter the threats by immunizing the device further. Not just that, if you still want to know what makes a Firestick most prone to threats, read this blog and understand the resources that might be rewarding but need to be secured for minimizing the diverse online threats.
What Kind of Threats should you be aware of?
An infected Firestick isn’t a regular sighting. Instead, you should be on the lookout for virus and malware threats, which are mainly injected by cryptominers or even disparate streaming apps, downloaded via shady links and websites.
Malware is mostly APK-induced and once entered the Firestick can amplify the shadow IoT threats and eventually impact other devices connected on the same network.
However, if you are experiencing the following issues, you might need to follow a set of strategies to disinfect the same:
A slow, unresponsive, and perpetually lagging Firestick is most probably infected. While ISP throttling and overheating might be some of the other reasons, slow command execution is easily one of the major indicators of a malware attack and subsequent proliferation. If truth be told, in some cases, overheating is also indicative of an online attack.
The end result is often a regrettable user experience with the menu access being a beaten-down affair and not a snappy process.
Apart from a lagging Firestick, it is a continuously freezing one that can be a cause for concern. Imagine a streamer loaded with apps of choice with each crashing immediately upon accessing. As frustrating as this might sound, malware or a virus seem to be the most plausible reason for the same.
However, if you are seeking more tell-tale signs, look for the android icon that lingers around as the test app.
How to secure the Firestick or protect it in the Long Run?
While there are quite a few strategies to protect the Firestick from existing malware, the first approach should always be to check for existing software updates. Once the OS is updated, the new and revitalized platform might be able to weed out certain threats, on its own. Also, you might have been experiencing lags due to an outdated operating platform and an update automatically fixes the same.
Also, factory resetting the Firestick ensures that all the infected applications are eliminated at once.
But then, if you want to protect the Firestick in the first place and avoid entry of any malware into the system, here are the steps to follow:
- No Sideloading
You might as well throw away the Firestick if not for sideloading. But then, if you are willing to make peace with limited functionality, ensure that the apps you choose belong to the Amazon app store. As much as Jailbreaking might appeal to you, keep your distance if you wish to avoid malware.
- Avoid Debugging
Turn off Android Debug Bridge for the Fire TV device. This way, it will be virtually impossible to send over data and corrupted files directly to the Fire TV Stick. Also, you can keep the device risk-free, without limiting content-viewing functionality.
- Secure the Network and even the Device
It is better to secure your home network and even the Fire TV device by installing a reliable anti-virus and even a reliable virtual private network. The best part about the VPN is that you can install it directly onto the router and privatize the entire wireless network.
Also, if you plan on carrying the Firestick to a remote location for enjoying the content on the move, the VPN should be installed onto the device as well.
- Update Firestick Firmware
If you plan on using the Fire TV Stick for long, consider updating the device to its latest firmware. Once downloaded and installed, you need to restart the Firestick to ensure that the same is properly configured.
Follow the mentioned steps and secure your Fire TV Stick against these penetrative and catastrophic threats. Also, securing the streamer isn’t only about heightening the user experience but also about protecting the entire home network in general as malware and viruses can infect the aligned devices and make them vulnerable.