Webcams are versatile and convenient. They allow us to stay connected to friends and family, make video conferences with our colleagues and much much more. But like all good things in life, there is a dark side too. One of the worst experiences online is definitely finding out that someone is watching you through your webcam. Most people at this point will ask: “is that even possible?” and the answer is: Yes! By infecting your computer with malware, hackers or various government security organizations can gain access to your webcam and basically run surveillance on you, using your own laptop for it.
Whether your laptop is a cheap basic machine or a high-end device there is a webcam on it. Webcams are now a standard part of every laptop so we need to take percussions so we can safely access the web and stay in touch with everyone on it. Webcam malware hacking incidents are on the rise worldwide so we need to take necessary precautions so we don’t end up being a victim.
Scan Your Computer
Do computer scans regularly, especially if you are using a shared computer or traveling a lot. Basic anti-virus software may not be able to recognize and remove webcam hacking malware. That is why you might want to use specialized anti-malware programs like Malwarebytes or Hitman Pro.
Don’t Open Suspicious E-mails
If you are using your email for a couple of years, chances are – it is full of newsletters, advertising and probably lots and lots of spam. Malware can be easily installed on your PC by clicking on a dangerous link in your mail. They often contain trojan horse that installs webcam hacking malware on your laptop. If your friends send you unsolicited e-mails with strange attachments, call them first and ask them about it.
Avoid Clicking on Short Links
Short links are used mostly on social media to shorten the actual link so they become more appealing to the eyes of the audience. But, when shortening a link someone can also hide the actual web link that you are going to open when you click on it. Try not to open short links coming from suspicious social media accounts.
Disable Your Webcam
If you have no use of your webcam you can always disable it. Just go to your Control Panel > Device Manager > Imaging Devices, right-click on your webcam and choose “Disable”. This probably won’t stop the most determined or most skilled hackers but it will stop most of them. You can also go the extra length and delete the webcams drivers. Deleting the drivers would mean that in order to hijack your webcam hackers need to do a lot of work rooting around your Windows.
Cover Your Webcam
Covering your webcam is probably the easiest and safest way to ensure that no one is watching you through the camera on your laptop. This doesn’t mean that you can go ahead and click on suspicious links, emails and so on. A webcam cover should be the last line of defense on any laptop. Most people use some sort of masking tape that looks ugly and leaves a glue residue when you decide to make a video call, that is why we recommend the Spyslide. It is the world’s most innovative webcam cover made from premium materials.