Why Samsung’s virus scans for good TVs are a UX catastrophe

Samsung was lambasted and mocked in the press and on social media yesterday, after the company tweeted a reminder to owners of its smart TVs to periodically run virus scans on their panels – along with a video demonstration of how to go about it.

Let’s point and laugh at Samsung for a bit:

Now we’ve received that out of the way in which, let’s discuss the place Samsung went fallacious. To be honest, the corporate is true to take safety critically. However its implementation of its answer presents a poor consumer expertise, to the purpose that it sounds absurd.

Over the previous a number of many years, nobody’s ever needed to run a virus scan on their TV set. And we’re now calling these internet-connected TVs – which include a bunch of options designed to reinforce your viewing expertise and ship a variety of content material – ‘good.’ However Samsung’s good QLED TV line – which options fashions priced as excessive as $15,000 – can’t run its personal virus scan. Sounds dumb to me.

As my colleague Matthew Hughes famous, with regards to the Web of Issues, it’s actually laborious to present an instance of one thing that, in some unspecified time in the future, hasn’t been fully and totally hacked. So it’s good to know that Samsung prioritizes safety. Over the previous 4 years, it’s detailed its extensive measures for protecting your smart TV. I think about that’s greater than will be mentioned for a lot of different manufacturers.

That mentioned, the onus of protecting viruses at bay shouldn’t be on TV homeowners. Javvad Malik, a safety consciousness advocate at KnowBe4 (a safety consciousness coaching platform), explains:

The primary problem of rivalry right here is the way in which through which the anti-virus capabilities have been carried out. Placing the duty on the patron to run AV on their TV isn’t a great technique. Reasonably, there needs to be scans or integrity checks constructed into the system in order that it operates as desired.

That is unhealthy for quite a few causes. Simply take into consideration the method: it’s important to keep in mind to scan your TV for viruses, hunt by on-screen menus to search out the scan characteristic, and finally delay your imminent Chernobyl binge with a irritating and undesirable aspect quest.

Think about having to recollect to do that each few weeks:

Sadly, we’re not carried out but. Take into consideration what occurs if there’s a virus. Are you supposed to sit down there and determine the following steps? Malik expands on how this may very well be tough and cumbersome:

If the anti-virus on a TV detects a suspected malicious file, what ought to it do? Does it mechanically quarantine / delete it? Or ought to it ask the consumer (who in lots of circumstances gained’t know the correct reply)? If it’s a false optimistic, then it may find yourself deleting a file wanted for reliable functioning of the TV or sure apps.

Because of this constructing in safety from the design section is so vital, in order that the correct controls will be architected in from the start to offer sturdy safety controls that don’t impede on the consumer expertise.

Past baking safety into the product from the beginning, I imagine it’s vital to automate processes like virus scanning. That approach, human interplay isn’t crucial, and there’s no alternative guilty homeowners for issues that come up on account of poor safety measures. That sounds extra just like the form of smarts I need my TV to have. Till producers determine this out, I’ll be superb with my dumb do-nothing set, thanks.

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Printed June 18, 2019 — 11:48 UTC