Can any TV be rigged to have spying capabilities by the manufacturer? Or is it only smart TV’s that are specifically designated as having cameras built in?
-From Arlen S.
Answer: The bad thing with Smart TV’s is that they connect to the internet. This means they are the same thing as a computer.
And like a computer, they can be hacked for spying purposes.
These days, essentially all TV models have smart features. In fact, you would have to go back to 2014 models to find TVs that do not connect to the web.
The argument is that consumers want streaming services, so connectivity is necessary.
Of course, this brings risks as well. Basically, there are two types of security issues when it comes to Smart TV’s: hacking and data collection.
The best thing to do is to treat your TV like you would a computer when it comes to security.
For instance, you should use a virtual private network (VPN) on your Smart TV, cover the camera or microphone with tape, and always use a strong password for any accounts you use on the TV.
The bottom line is, you’d really have to get an older model TV to be 100% safe.
Will a steel screened security door with security lag bolts deny all entry where installed? Or is there a way to get past?
-From John M.
Answer: With enough time, a criminal can get through almost any type of door. But a steel screen door can make it harder for someone on the outside trying to break through.
So, putting a steel screen door on your existing exterior door is a great way to add protection from intruders.
If you get a quality security door, they will have features such as hidden hinges and durable metals and meshes.
Plus, most of the hardware used to install these types of doors is security oriented as well.
At the end of the day there is no guarantee that these doors will stop every criminal.
But they will make it a lot harder and will definitely slow them down, which gives you more time to get to your gun.
Is there a device that can electronically sweep for hidden cameras and microphones in an apartment I just moved into?
-From Curtis M.
Answer: There are tons of products online that market themselves as hidden camera detectors.
The thing is, these days, cameras can be incredibly tiny and they can record over Wi-Fi, to a SD card or even to a hard drive they are wired to.
My point is, there are so many types of cameras that it’s hard to find one device that will detect them all and most of the devices sold on the internet are cheap junk that don’t work.
The best way to be 100% sure is to hire a professional with the right equipment and this would not be practical. (It costs thousands of dollars to perform a full house sweep.)
Is there a way to remove my private data that I found on the Dark Web?
-From Julie L.
Answer: Many ID protection services claim to remove your information from the Dark Web. Yet, in reality this is pointless.
Once data is posted within the Dark Web, it is quickly copied and re-sold. My point is, by the time the company would detect your information it has already been compromised.
The best thing you can do is monitor your own information to catch any fraud. You should check your credit score regularly along with your bank and credit card statements.
Also, I recommend placing a credit freeze on your accounts with the three major credit bureaus. This should prevent anyone from opening new accounts with your information.
I’m interested in building my first AR-15. Can you tell me what a “bolt carrier group” is?
-From Peter M.
Answer: The bolt carrier group is a critical part of the AR-15 and M16 rifles. It’s part of the upper receiver of the rifle.
When a round is fired, the gas from the cartridge is funneled back into the bolt carrier. The gas fills the chamber and forces the bolt carrier back against the recoil spring.
As the bolt carrier moves back, the cam pin twists the bolt. This unlocks it from the chamber so the bolt carrier group cycles rearward.
Within the bolt carrier group there are a lot of smaller pieces with all of them working each time the rifle goes bang.
A lot of folks upgrade the bolt carrier group of their rifle. This isn’t a bad idea. But make sure that whatever you buy is mil-spec.
My wife bought me my first gun for Christmas. I want to add a laser. What is the difference between red and green lasers?
-From Keith T.
Answer: Both red and green lasers can be seen in low-light conditions. But, in brighter situations it is usually easier to see a green laser.
However, green lasers are usually more expensive compared to red. The choice between the two really comes down to personal preference and budget.
A red laser will work fine in many light conditions. But, if you want to spend the money and buy a laser that will work in bright sunlight, green is the way to go.