An Amazon Firestick is a USB device that you can attach to your TV’s HDMI port, turning it into a smart TV. Similar to a USB, it is very handy, lightweight, and easy to use.
After your purchase, the Amazon Firestick is then free to use. It makes your consumption of entertainment materials very flexible and convenient as long as you have an internet connection. Simply connect it to your TV, and it will give you access to your favorite movies, TV shows, music playlists, and streaming applications. In a sense, it converts your regular TV to a smart TV.
With all these features, this is a great device to have and well worth the purchase, but you should be aware that there are also risks involved with using this device. Like any other device that functions mainly by connecting to the internet, it is susceptible to malware attacks or virus infection. In 2018, there were reports claiming that a particular malware that mines cryptocurrencies and is known for attacking smartphones and tablets can also affect the Amazon Firestick.
However, this is not a reason to stop you from using this device. There are several steps you can take to prevent malicious software from attacking or having access to it. Here, we list down some tips to help you protect your Amazon firestick or read more at CordCutters anonymous.
Install Antivirus and Anti-Malware Apps
The best protection you can do for your device is really just prevention. Make sure your device has the defense it needs from malicious software by installing and activating authorized antivirus and anti-malware applications both on your device and on the networks that you frequently use.
Make sure that you get these applications only from the Amazon App Store. After downloading, activate them right away and have them immediately work as a shield for your gadgets. Some applications, like the Webroot, are multitasking and provide an identity blocker, a firewall, and an infrared protection system all at once.
Use Only Legitimate Applications
Accessing unauthorized software or applications increases your risk of exposure to malicious attacks. Prevent this from happening by only downloading applications that have been checked and approved by Amazon and listed in the official Amazon App store. Check your device as well and make sure it does not make automatic downloads by turning off the option to download apps from other sources.
You should also check and make sure that Android Debug Bridge is turned on in your device. This can be accessed in the device developer options. If it is not activated, immediately turn it on as this will help identify and pull out any malicious software that tries to attack your devices.
Access the Internet through a Virtual Private Network
A virtual private network will help reduce your risk of exposure to malicious software whether the device is being used for your home appliances, on your gadgets while you are traveling. This is because connecting your device to different internet sources may open up an avenue for hackers to get into your server.
If you are using a private network, it will hide your IP address from potential hackers, making them unable to track and identify your current location. It can also disguise the fire TV connection and will confuse any potential hacker by coursing it through a different server location.
Thus, the virtual private network provides more protection by masking your browsing history and hiding your identity and the devices that you are using. All this information will also be encrypted and will have no value to hackers even if they succeed in extracting your information.
However, it is recommended to use only the authorized private networks from the Amazon App store. This is because other free private networks usually gather your personal information and sell them to companies as a source of income.
Observe Your Amazon Fire Stick
Finally, keep a close watch on the performance of your firestick. Like most malware, the immediate effect it has on your gadgets is to slow it down.
Watch out for any inconsistencies or difficulties while the device is in use, such as having delayed responses in commands, or freezing while browsing the menu. Check also for unusual occurrences like sudden overheating, a surprising prompt for test apps appearing on your screen, or long lags in your screen.
When this happens, first check if you had updated your Amazon FireStick with recent software updates. Most of the above problems could have also happened because of an outdated operating system so have this crossed of your list first. After you have downloaded the new update, test the fire stick again and see if the issues have been resolved.
The next step is to check your internet speed. Sometimes, the answers are in the simplest of solutions. Do a quick speed test to check if your internet connection is working well. After doing these steps, and your device is still having some issues, then your Amazon Fire Stick may have really been infected.
Once you have confirmed the presence of malicious software in your device, you have to immediately work on getting them removed and having your fire stick cleared of any virus or malware. To do this, you can either reset the device and restore the factory settings for all applications, or you can download the Total Commander Application from the official Amazon App store.
This application works by first searching for the virus or malware installed in your device, identifying which applications have been infected, then getting them purged and cleared out.
If you are a huge consumer of entertainment and like to watch videos or listen to music several times in a day, the Amazon Fire Stick could just be the device that you have always been looking for. It is multitasking, easy to carry, and convenient to use. Bring it with you anywhere, and use it anytime you want.
However, you should always take precautions and do not let this device open up your network to malicious software or give it access to hackers. Once any of these gets into your network, there are so many things that they can do to damage your devices, misuse your personal information, or cause problems in your life.