How many devices do you have with cameras around the house? You probably have some laptops, a few cell phones, perhaps a baby monitor, and maybe even a home surveillance system. Even though cameras are meant to enhance our devices capabilities, in reality they are putting us in danger. Cybercriminals are able to hack into these cameras to steal our personal information and spy on us.
How are you at risk?
Victims of webcam hacks are spied on to either gain access to personal information which could lead to identity theft, or be unknowingly monitored and have photos taken of themselves in compromising situations.
What devices are at risk?
It’s not just laptops or PCs we have to be worried about. Baby monitors, surveillance cameras, and even our cell phones have all been portals for unlawful viewing.
How do hackers gain access?
There are several ways that hackers can access your webcams, but the most common is through the use of a Trojan horse malware. It transmits a malicious code that’s hidden in what appears as an innocent file. This code is sent to you through a link or attachment in an email that upon downloading will give the hacker remote access over your device.
How to protect yourself
As with most other malware, the user is completely unaware they’re a victim, and in this case, they’re not aware anyone is spying on them. When it comes to webcam security, being proactive is very important.
It’s important to install a great antivirus program to offer you protection against malware and spyware. It’s also recommended to have a firewall since they provide an extra measure of security against unwanted traffic. Lastly, having a form of mobile security is also important to ensure your smartphone is not at risk either.
2. Protect your webcam
If it’s an external webcam, you should always keep it unplugged when it’s not in use, or if it’s a built in camera, you can use the old school method of putting a piece of tape, or a Post It note over the lens – Mark Zuckerberg even does that! Even though on PCs there’s usually a light activated to indicate whether the webcam is in use, it’s been circumvented before by hackers to bypass that security measure.
3. Be Careful when clicking links and attachments
Email attachments are the main source of transmitting malware, so it’s important to be sure you’re vigilant when clicking links and attachments sent to your email address.
As technology continues to innovate so do the tactics of cybercriminals trying to exploit vulnerabilities in the devices we trust. Be vigilant with your webcam to ensure that your device can’t see or listen to you when you don’t want it to.