The Dangers Of Webcam Spying And What Steps To Take To Protect Yourself
Even though a lot of people are skeptical, webcam hacking is very real, especially in the last couple of years, where every household has several cameras. Whether it is your computer or laptop webcam, phone camera or your surveillance system, you have undoubtedly asked the question: Can your computer camera spy on you?
The answer might scare you: Yes, it can, and it’s surprisingly easy to take advantage of almost every personal camera out there.
There are several ways which potential intruders can use to hack your camera, however by following few simple tricks your privacy will be left intact.
Hacker Attacks and How To Prevent Them
The usual ways hackers try to take over your cameras is by the so-called Trojan horse attacks. You might be scrolling on the internet, and then you click or download an attachment (file, music, video, etc.) that is infected with some malware (virus or other dangerous programs). Once this happens, the hacker will be able to remotely control some functions of your PC (in this case, the camera).
Nevertheless, there are steps anyone can do, to keep all your webcams secure. Here are some of the most common things, as suggested by a couple of experts:
- Use a firewall
One of the most neglected features when it comes to computer protection. Every PC comes with one, but most people turn it off because they believe it’s just a waste of memory. However, that is entirely wrong. Even though the firewall offers just basic protection, it’s crucial that you keep it on at all times. It protects your computer to some degree though and it’s not enough.
- Purchase and activate a powerful anti-virus software
Try to get an anti-virus that offers both spyware and malware protection, and make sure you update it all the time. The best option is to pay for a yearly subscription on one of the most renowned anti-virus software packages. However, some cost a lot of money, but even one of the cheaper options can get the job done. Further down the article, we have reviewed the best anti-malware and anti-virus software available today. Click here if you think this is what you are looking for.
- If an attachment looks suspicious – don’t click on it!
Surely, you have heard this before, but it’s in human nature to do first and think later. If there is anything that you don’t recognize, usually e-mail attachments, suspicious sites that offer TV-shows, videos or music for free, or anything else that seems strange to you, just avoid it and you will save yourself from a lot of trouble.
- Secure your wireless connection
Always make sure that your connection has a unique password and that you are not using the custom one that comes with the router.
- Keep your PC/laptop out of the bedroom
Try to avoid taking a device that has a webcam in the bedroom. On top of that make sure that you and all members of your family are well aware that they shouldn’t do anything they don’t want people to see in front of a webcam.
- Be wary of tech help
A lot of hackers are acting like tech support, offering their help to people, usually someone they already know. They come over, fix your issue and in the process rig your webcam so that they can spy on you with it later. If you require assistance with your computer, make sure you take it to an official, respectful shop.
As we can see, there are many great ways to protect yourself, but still, the only way to be sure that you are safe is by covering the webcam. When it comes to external webcams, you can always disconnect it as soon as you are finished using it. For any other webcam just put the lens cover. If it doesn’t have one, cover it with a sticky note or with a bandage.
We all remember the picture with Mark Zuckerberg in which his webcam is covered. That picture proved that webcam spying is more than a myth and that everyone should take measures before it’s too late.
If it’s convenient that’s your decision to make though.
The Best Anti-Malware and Anti-Virus Software of 2018
Here we are presenting the top solutions to protect your devices. They are not only protect from threads but in some cases make your computer much faster, help with performance and even clean up your disk space.
McAfee Total Protection
This is a Trusted anti-virus and privacy protection for up to 10 devices.
- 100% guarantee viruses removed or your money back
- True KeyTM accounts to safely store all usernames and passwords
- Anti-theft and file protection for iOS tablets and smartphones
- Data backup, Anti-theft, app privacy, and Wi-Fi protection for Android tablets and smartphones
- FREE 24/7 support for the life of your subscription
- Permanently delete sensitive digital files
- Avoid risky websites and prevent dangerous downloads
- Prevent your device from spreading malware and SPAM
- Anti-malware, firewall, network manager, and web safety tool for Mac
This is premium anti-virus software with versatile packages combining online protection, firewall management, performance tools, and a VPN.
- Real-time protection
- Secure surfing
- Data and identity protection
- Firewall optimizer
- Activity report
- Faster PC
- Extra space and memory
- Longer battery life
You can check their official website clicking the picture below:
Choose from one of three BullGuard antivirus packages to protect your PC against spam, viruses, and unwanted applications. With the purchase, you get access to BullGuard’s award-winning protection AND free 24/7 support!
- Next-gen anti-malware — proactively protects against malware, spyware, ransomware, and phishing.
- Home Network Scanner — protects your entire network and every device on it 24/7. Including thermostats, baby monitors, speakers and all connected devices.
- Game Booster — optimizes CPU performance for noticeably smoother gaming with a faster frame rate and no game lag.
This one is great for Windows 10 users if your computer constantly crashes and hangs up. You can download this tool to repair PC errors and computer crashes. FixMyPC performs quick registry cleanup and repairs.
- special software that safely performs registry cleanup and repair, and tunes up system settings
- how it works:
Step 1: Download the registry repair application
Step 2: Install and launch the application
Step 3: Click the Scan Now button to detect errors and abnormalities
Step 4: Click the Repair All button to fix the errors
This is great Windows 10 Driver Updater. A lot of problems arise because of outdated computer drivers. Driver Updater performs quick registry cleanup and repairs. This driver updater tool contains drivers for all variety of Windows 10 devices. With just one click you can update the driver as well as the rest of the drivers in your system, such as:
Optical Disk Drivers
Wireless Networ Cards
This is state of the art software that is both clean, modern and very effective in detecting and removing all kinds of viruses, spyware, malware, and adware.
- Instantly Remove All Detected Threats
- Removes & Uninstalls Unwanted Programs
- Active Real-Time Virus & Threat Protection
- Blocks Unwanted Cookies, Ads & Threats
- 24/7 Remote Support Assistance
- 60 Days – 100% Money Back Guarantee
Phone Cameras and How To Secure Them
It’s more than evident that PC and laptop webcams are not the only problem. Ever since the information Edward Snowden put up about how the NSA was hacking and spying people through the cameras on their phone, people have been wondering about their safety.
Furthermore, there were the pictures of celebrities that went viral. People have been anxious about their phone safety after that, and surely they are asking themselves: Can your iPhone camera spy on you? The answer here is also yes, which is why Apple has been trying to improve security measures on their devices.
However, even though they have taken their security to another level, it’s still not enough, and people have been complaining about getting spied for a long time. The fingerprint locks are a great feature, but they are not as secure as everyone believes. Make sure that you also set up a secure password to go together with the fingerprint lock.
If a hacker manages to bypass your security, he can install apps that can spy on your messages, listen in on your calls, follow your location and of course, take advantage of the phone camera. An excellent hacker can watch you through your camera even when your phone is locked, and the screen is turned off.
Just like with the webcams there are several things you can do to protect yourself from camera spying. Apparently covering the lens is not a viable option since most people use their phone camera almost all the time.
Nevertheless, installing anti-virus software and being careful with what you click are good ways to protect yourself from camera spying. Trying to avoid using the phone camera in the bathroom and bedroom can also be helpful.
If You Are A Parent
Well, if you are a parent that’s a different story because you care about your kids. So how can you know if they are not susceptible to this kind of cyber-threads? You don’t.
For this to be working, you just need the ultimate monitoring software to remotely track and control any activity of kids on all smartphones. There is only one smartphone application on the market that allows parents monitor text messages, calls, current GPS location, SnapChat, WhatsApp, Facebook messenger and many more. It’s called mSpy.
Main benefits of this application:
- It can monitor smartphones and laptops
- It’s compatible with Android, iOS, Windows PC and Mac OS
- The installation is quick and the interface is very user-friendly
- 24/7 multi-language support is available
- 6 different offers depending what you need
- The prices are really affordable for what you are getting
All in all, it’s clear that spying through the cameras you have around the house is entirely possible and if the question “Can your iPhone camera spy on you” is consistently in your mind, then it’s probably time to increase your security.
From what we could read above, you can protect yourself by installing anti-virus software, activating a firewall, avoiding suspicious attachments, using a secure connection and few others.
Still, covering the lenses is the best solution which will protect you 100%. However, this is not viable for phones, so make sure you set up a complicated, hard to crack the password. On top of that try and avoid using your phone in places where if someone is watching, you could be indeed compromised.
Most experts suggest that webcam spying is not just a myth set in place to make people paranoid. It’s a real, serious problem that needs to be addressed and increasing your security is the first step towards doing that.