How Can You Protect Amazon Fire TV Stick from Getting a Virus?
The amazon fire TV stick is a fantastic tool to help you take your favorite shows wherever you go.
You might not have heard it yet, but there is a chance your amazon fire stick may be vulnerable to malware threats in the form of a crypto mine.
It will reportedly affect your device as it mines cryptocurrencies for the hackers.
To ensure you keep your fire TV safe, we have prepared an article that will look at ways you can help protect your fire TV stick from any malware.
The Amazon Fire TV Stick
For those unfamiliar with the device, the amazon fire TV stick is a sort of portable tool to carry all your favorite subscriptions, TV shows, photos, music, and games. The fire stick comes with a HDMI compatible port that will allow you to plug into multiple players and enjoy your regular programming.
Imagine carrying your viewing with you in a little stick! That is the capability the fire stick offers its users. Simply carry and plug it into a compatible TV, and get your home viewing anywhere you are. If you subscribe to the Amazon TV platform, it means you just continue watching what you were viewing.
The fire stick will come already registered to your account for all amazon prime members, meaning you will have immediate access to your account after plugging in the amazon fire stick into the TV. Amazon Prime members also get the advantage of choosing from several amazon original caches not available to other users.
In case you choose to purchase the amazon fire stick, you will get a new fire stick, remote control, USB cable, power adapter, HDMI extender, 2AAA batteries, plus a guide. The features you will expect from the amazon fire stick are:
- Dedicated videocore4 GPU
- Optional voice support
- 8GB internal storage
- 1G of memory
- Dual-Band, Dual-antenna Wi-Fi
This decent tool will make your life more comfortable and affordable too!
How the Fire TV Stick Works
The amazon fire TV stick allows the user to access their Amazon account, creating a place you can store your amazon content wherever you go. Once you log in to the Fire TV stick, you will have access to your Amazon account, meaning any videos or music you have on your amazon account will become available for you. The Amazon fire stick will also allow you to view anything you might have stored on the Amazon cloud service.
The fire stick stands out to its competition in the like of Roku and Chromecast. It comes equipped with a Bluetooth remote and Wi-Fi connecting capabilities
After plugging in the HDMI port, you will go through the Setup process and ensure you sign in to your account.
The amazon fire stick offers its users more than just access to personal media; it will also provide access for a vast number of apps and games. It will not simply limit you to what you have already programmed; you can use it to get more moves games.
You have the opportunity to use the amazon fire stick for more than just your amazon viewing. You can open the Netflix app and watch your preferred shows. The amazon fire stick will also allow you to open and browse YouTube. Other services that have also been included in the stick include HBO, ESPN, and Hulu, at an extra cost.
The Difference between the Fire Stick and the Fire TV
Amazon has both products for sale on its stores, yet the products both offer the same services. So what is the difference between the two?
The Fire TV is more significant than the fire stick, which is three inches long and plugged on to the TV, while the fire TV is a four and a half square console that comes in a sleek design. Depending on which you prefer, you can opt for one; however, it is worth noting that they come at different prices.
The size also comes with some added advantage; however, the quality difference will not be as much; however, you may get a lot more with the fire TVs option.
The amazon fire TV stick is the cheaper option at $39.99, while the fret v will cost you $99.
They have varying speeds; otherwise. The Fire TV will give you speeds up to 2GB RAM while the fire stick has only 1GB of ram. For gamers, Fire TV may be the better option for you, as they will have no lagging while playing.
4. Additional Ports and Storage
The TV stick has more options for connection, including an Ethernet, USB, and micro SD port. On the other hand, for the fire sticks, the only option is the HDMI connection. The more the ports, the more the connection you can make with the fire TV option.
Fire TV is 4K enabled, giving you increasing your picture quality. The Fire TV comes with more options and for gamers a sure choice; however, the fire stick portability just makes it a much better choice for light users and those who prefer not to carry a lot of stuff while traveling.
Can Amazon Fire Stick Get a Virus?
Around 2018, there were allegations that the amazon TV and Firestick were vulnerable to malware and virus threats. The perpetrator was a crypto-mining malware that slowed the devices, while at the same time mining cryptocurrencies through your device.
How the malware works are such that it will install an APK file on a device over the network. ADB stands for Android Development Bridge. It opens up your devices into taking commands from certain points. The malware will spread once connected to your home network, search for devices with a port 5000, and push malware into them.
Common Symptoms of an Infected Amazon Firestick
The impact of the malware on the fire stick TV is the same as most malware infections having the following symptoms:
· Slow or Lag
The fire stick and TV will both become extremely slow in executing commands. Browsing through the menu will be frustrating for you, spending ages before you can maneuver and watch what you want, which may itself run while lagging, making the whole experience regrettable.
· Crashing and Freezing
Another problem that might arise with the virus is the freezing of the device or complete crashing. Your fire stick may also start overheating, which you can tell by placing your hand on the device.
Another great telltale sign of a malware infection is the appearance of a test app that comes with an android icon on the fire stick. If you see this, you are most likely infected.
Fire TV Malware: What to Do
The first thing you should do is check for software updates because the reason the fire stick may be lagging is an outdated OS. You can get to this through the menu bar, device options, wherein the ‘about;’ option you can select the ‘check for updates’ options.
In case you find a new update, download and install it in your fire stick, restart the device, and see if the problem persists.
You should then try to eliminate poor internet connections as the reason for the lag by carrying out a speed test for your internet speeds. After ensuring your internet is not the cause, then you can assume it is the virus disturbing your device performance.
Resetting Amazon Fire Stick
At times, activating the debugging options may fail to remove the malware, and the device may still lag freeze or crash. There is another option you can try through restoring the device to factory settings. This is an effective method as it will erase all data in the device and reinstall the software.
Erasing all data means, even the malware will not be spared.
To do this, through the ‘device menu,’ select the ‘reset factory defaults’ option at the bottom of the menu. Confirm the decision, and the device will reset I a few minutes.
Ways You Can Prevent Any Malware from Entering Your Device
Certain precautions can help you prevent any malware from entering the device. These safe practices will ensure your device is secure.
1. Download, only Amazon-approved apps
As previously stated, it is essential that you only allow amazon-approved apps to your device, which is due to the chances of other third-party apps coming in with malware attached. The ADB malware itself comes in through the same channel that allows third-party apps to get installed.
Avoid trying to jailbreak your device, as it will also open it up to more potential viruses.
To prevent any third-party apps from accessing the computer, ensure that you have shut off the ‘download apps from other sources’ option.
2. Disable ADB bugging
If you have ever use ADB debugging, then you need to turn it off. To get to the disable ADB debugging option, just go to the device developer option, and ensure the ADB debugging option is set to off.
This option leaves the device vulnerable for attacks; malware will use the option to spread into your fire TV or stick.
3. Ensure your network and device both have the anti-virus and anti-malware installed
Check the amazon app store for some antiviruses that you can use to ensure your device does not get a virus. Ensure that you check whether the antivirus you want to install is compatible with your device.
4. Update the firmware to the latest version
Always ensure that you are working with the latest firmware on your device. Most of the time updates automatically install themselves in the free stick; however, you can also manually do this just to be sure.
Go to ‘settings’ and choose ‘my fire TV’ followed by the ‘device’ option.
You then have to check for the latest software version for your device, through selecting system update.
In case there are available updates, the device will immediately start downloading them. After the download is complete, you can select the install the update option, and after installation, you will need to restart the device.
Updates make sure the device is at its best in terms of performance, and any recent changes in response to maybe malware attacks are updated to your device. This helps keep the fire TV safe from getting a virus or any new malware attacks.
5. Use a VPN
The fact that you will be traveling with amazon fire TV will mean that you will get in on many networks and internet connections. There are potential risks for hackers to access your device through these networks. Therefore, it would be prudent always to have an effective VPN service on the go.
You also help prevent attackers from tracking you through the IP, as the VPN will throw them off into thinking you are in a different location.
A VPN will help through encrypting all your information, making it useless for a hacker, even if they access it. In case you are out of the country, the VPN will encrypt the fire TV connection and channel it through a server location of your choosing
It is worth noting that only 2nd generation or later fire TV can access VPN, as the first generation does not support the option.
Some of the VPN that will work well with your Amazon Fire TV or fire stick are:
· Express VPN
This is an excellent VPN to consider. First off, it is affordable and it will cost you around $12 a month, with a 30-day money-back guarantee. Some of the features that make this VPN well worth it are:
The VPN will support all major platforms, making it easier to work anywhere you take your amazon fire stick to
The VPN also comes with unlimited server switches, and the highest rate of encryption, ensuring you are kept safe from any potential hackers.
You also get split tunneling, ensuring the way your information is handled is not as easy to hack it. Apart from this, the VPN offers its users unlimited bandwidth, so you can stay up all night and day having surfing or watching your favorite shows, with no fear of being tracked.
The VPN also comes with zero-knowledge DNS, meaning it will not retain any of your information.
You get up to 145 servers in 90+ countries.
· Nord VPN
Another fantastic VPN for your amazon fire TV is the Nord VPN, with some of the features making it stand out including:
Military-grade encryption, which is a high tech level of encrypting your files similar to the military, meaning it is much harder or hackers to access your information.
The VPN also comes with a no-logging policy, so the VPN does not collect or share your data
You also get an automatic kill switch with the Nord VPN, which ensures that the internet connection falters. The VPN will kill the connection, preventing you from connecting to the internet without a VPN connection.
The VPN will also accommodate various devices, and at the same time, prevent any DNS leakage.
· IP Vanish VPN
The IP Vanish is another fantastic VPN service that can be found in the amazon play store. Some of the features that come with the VPN service include
The VPN will protect your data across several platforms.
The VPN service also offers the user an unlimited number of bandwidths
The encryption is AES-256 bit encryption, which is one of the best encryption for data and information
The VPN service will also come with a no-logging policy, meaning it will not use or retain any of your information.
The VPN will also provide you with a secure PSP traffic and a SOCKS5 web proxy.
The VPN also provides geo-locked content access in case you need it.
· Cyber Ghost VPN
Cyber Ghost VPN is another affordable service to add on to your amazon fire stick. Some of the features include:
The VPN comes with an excellent encryption service leaving you safe as you enjoy your amazon fire TV. The VPN will protect you against a compromised Wi-Fi connection
You also get a no-logging policy where your information will not be retained
The VPN service also adds on a no ad-blocking feature that will prevent those irritating notifications from continually popping up.
· Surf shark VPN
The Surf shark VPN will offer its users a bitcoin option for payment plus a 30-day money-back guarantee.
The VPN will also offer its users an unlimited number of devices that can connect. The encryption is also impressive and it will guarantee the safety of your information.
The VPN will also come with a double VPN capability. The VPN will help prevent any kind of DNS leaks, ensuring that your data is kept safe from any attack points.
You will also get an automatic kill switch, making it harder for you to find yourself connected without a VPN active
You also get a private search tool safe under the VPN. You can use it to search for anything you want, the same as you would Google or chrome browsers.
Antivirus for Amazon Firestick
You need an antivirus to help protect your device against any malware and potential threats that may harm your amazon fire TV. As previously stated, it is essential that you only download apps from the amazon play store. Here are some Amazon approved antiviruses.
1. McAfee (review)
Mcafee is a fantastic antivirus that comes with a reliable security mechanism and the affordability to accommodate different users based on its different pricing plans.
It comes with fabulous phishing protection, helping prevent intrusion from fake websites to get confidential information.
The antivirus also comes with a ransom guard, which helps protect your device against any ransomware hacks. Apart from ransomware, Mcafee will also protect your device against any new threats that may emerge.
The firewall protection sported by Mcafee is also worth mentioning. It comes with an unobtrusive firewall that is guaranteed to keep any threats away from your fire stick.
The antivirus will also come with a crypto Jacker, keeping any hackers from turning your amazon fire TV to a crypto mining machine.
2. Webroot (review)
The antivirus comes with quite a several features including:
A heuristic analysis means it will examine code for suspicious items, and detect malware before they pose a threat to the software.
The antivirus also comes with anti-phishing tech, which will prevent the chances of fake websites posing as real ones from taking your data, or conning you into opening your systems for them.
The antivirus will also add an infrared defense system, an outbound firewall, identity, and privacy shields. This comes in handy in making your amazon fire TV impervious to threats and malware.
3. Bitdefender (review)
For the Kaspersky antivirus, what you will get is a top of the line and market leader for antiviruses with a security protocol that is virtually impenetrable, leaving you with strong security for your device.
The antivirus also comes with real-time data protection, which provides 24-hour security.
The antivirus will also offer you an anti-phishing feature, on top of an anti-fraud and an anti-spam feature.
The antivirus also comes with multi-layered ransomware features. You will be protected from anyone trying to encrypt any of your private information
You will also get a network threat prevention feature with the antivirus, which will help you prevent the fire stick from accessing any compromised networks.
Both the amazon fire stick and fire TV are a great addition to your watching and gaming pleasure, plus the fact that they have not yet been intruded the viruses as much as other devices, means they are still quite worth it.
Get you one today, and you will never have to wait until you return home to continue with your favorite viewing.
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