It never rains but it pours! Who would have thought that Kodi Spyware would be something we would have to combat? What should you do to block it?
I never thought I'd see the day when we had to worry about Kodi trying to block us from watching TV! How times change and with the lawsuits that are flying around right now they have decided to take steps to protect themselves.
So much for free TV eh? This new spyware addon is called KN Addon Caretaker and if it believes you are accessing material that is subject to copyright, it will flash a warning message to your screen informing you that you are watching pirated content.
This message will stay on display until you stop watching the stream. This sounds like nothing to worry about since you can choose not to install the addon - but wait, it's not that simple.
TVAddons (yes the same one that went away and came back) are reporting that certain skin developers are now shipping this spyware addon with their updates.
This is just the start.
Why is This Happening?
This all started in the UK when the big TV companies realized they might lose customers. As Kodi became more popular, it was crystal clear that illegal content was being accessed at an alarming rate.
Maybe people started canceling their Sky TV subscriptions? After all, Sky TV is now super expensive in the UK. In the USA it's not uncommon for punters to pay upwards of $100 per month for cable.
Kodi boxes were also being sold to various public houses in the UK and owners taking full advantage of free football streams to attract more customers and increase revenue.
With the rapid advancement in data transmission over the internet, it's becoming more feasible to watch live TV over an internet connection. Previously this was just a pipe dream but it's now very possible.
Which Skins are Attempting to Trick us?
Oh yes, that's exactly what they are doing. There's no big warning sign and they have withheld this information from unsuspecting users. To me, that is nothing short of trickery.
They are obviously trying to stop people from accessing illicit streams and protect themselves at the same time but it would have been nice if they had been a bit more forthcoming.
Named and Shamed
To date there are at least two skins that are pushing out updates with the KN Addon Caretaker. Estuary MOD V2 and Embuary are the skins that contain this spyware addon.
TVAddons reports that the developers who created them say they decided to include KN Addon Caretaker as “a dependency” in order to protect themselves, as they don’t wish to be linked with illicit addons. However, the move has provoked criticism, as it means some Kodi users have installed the software without realising. They could also be having their Kodi usage habits monitored against their wishes. - The Independent Online
How to Secure Kodi
You need this if you are going to be streaming Kodi whether it is for live TV or VOD content. But the free VPNs are free for a reason. You will be restricted to the number of servers you can use and lack of servers generally means lack of IP addresses.
This can affect your connectivity and security. I have used free VPNs in the past and they don't really cut the mustard. More and more Kodi users are switching to a paid VPN to protect against security risks and prying eyes.
There was a recent security scare with Kodi which allowed hackers to access your device through the subtitles coding in the software. It was discovered and resolved with a new release but it just proves how crucial a VPN is these days. Plus, you can use a VPN on all your other devices simultaneously with one account.
You Can't Hide your Prying Eyes
In the UK we have the Snoopers' Charter which allows the authorities to share your online history. ISPs are also now obliged to block you if you access servers that contain copyright material. This is already happening but a VPN will prevent this blocking.
In the USA your online history is up for auction to the highest bidder. There really is no privacy online without using a good VPN provider.
Luckily for us, the prices for VPNs have come right down. If you follow my links below you will be able to get PureVPN for only $1.92 per month. That's a saving of 81%.
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PureVPN Kodi Addon
PureVPN even have a Kodi addon so if you want to limit your connection to within Kodi only it's really easy and simple to do. Check out their brief video below which shows you how to install and configure their Kodi addon.
Download Kodi Latest Version
Kodi have just released a bug fix version 17.5 and it is available to download from the Play Store or from the Kodi official website. It's free to download and since this is an interim patch there is no need to remove your old version.
Simply install over your existing Kodi version and you will be able to retain your existing addons and settings. To read more about the bug fixes please check out my Kodi 17.5 update article.
This spyware may not be scaring you right now but this trend is only going one way. With all the surveillance powers that the authorities have now, we will see more spyware addons like this.
Eventually, everyone will need a VPN otherwise you won't be able to access anything other than local channels or paid TV subscriptions. What a worrying thought eh?