Almost a year ago, I started covering my laptop’s webcam after seeing Mark Zuckerberg doing the same. But I took the step not just because I wanted to copy him, but because I want to keep myself safe. If Mark also does not feel safe with an open webcam of his computer, an ordinary Internet user is surely at risk.
Not just I do it for myself, I also suggested the same to all my friends and relatives. It is because I know how bad it can be if exploited.
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Last year, FBI Director James Comey also recommended covering webcam with tape for security reasons. He saw several cases related to web hack and arrested dozens of people behind webcam hacking. At that time, several media houses talked about this, but people did what they are best in doing. They ignored.
We all use the Internet but take our security very lightly. The webcam can expose your live footage to unauthorized persons and it can be too scary if they managed to record something you don’t want other people to see.
Web technologies are prone to different kind of attacks. If a website managed to break the browser permission or somehow get permission from you to access your webcam, it can see you. Hackers also target innocent people with malware and trojan like things. What if they get success in installing a piece of software in your system that can use your webcam to record you all the time.
Let me tell you a story of Miss Tenn USA contestant. A guy in her high school used a program to hack into her computer and access webcam to take photos of her. Later, he started extorting money from her. There are lots of similar cases around the globe.
There can be lots of ways to install the software onto a remote computer. This software allows an attacker to control the camera remotely and capture photos or record videos. Many times hackers hack into legit software servers to infect it and serve their malware as a legit update. Recent CCleaner update was an example of this. So, you are not 100% secure on the Internet. Hackers can find a way to infect your system even if you are following most of the things to keep you safe.
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Mac systems have a light that activates when Webcam is active. And it is hard for a program to turn the webcam on without turning on this light. But many windows system doesn’t come with that notification light. So, you will never know if the webcam is recording.
So, you should be proactive and ready for the worst situation. Adding a tape on webcam is a very small thing you can do easily. And it helps a lot when your security software fails. Whenever you want to use it for video calls, remove the tape and add it back when usage is over. Girls must take this seriously as hackers are always in search of a girl’s computer for the extorting big sum.
Webcam hacking is not new. Hackers have been doing this for long. And recent reports claim that Government agencies are also involved in this. So, you should not take this lightly.
As you already know, hackers can control your webcam only if they managed to install malware in your system. So, you must have a good security software, latest OS, and latest plugins. You should also avoid installing software from unknown websites and avoid clicking on suspicious links.