No one thinks about WebCam hacking… Until they find video of themselves being filmed online. For the most part, this is done in instances of blackmailing. Hackers will target specific people, film them in compromising positions through their own WebCam, and then extort them for money.
You need to learn how to prevent WebCam hacking, and also learn how hackers gain access to WebCams. A complete digital security plan includes these steps, take them so that you never find yourself in a compromised position.
Prevent WebCam hacking
How a hacker accesses your WebCam
WebCams are a very convenient piece of technology. They are right there on your computer ready for you to turn on to have a video chat with someone. As is the case with all things, convenience comes with a price. That price in a digital setting is always that’s something that is convenient for you is also convenient for hackers.
There are two main ways that hackers can gain access to your WebCam:
- Clickjacking: This manipulates Flash in a website. It hides permission to access your WebCam behind another button. You then push that button giving the browser access to your WebCam without your knowledge. It can take pictures or can stream video.
- WebCam software: You would think that if the only job of your product was to make it possible for your customers to privately share video, that they would do this. Unfortunately, this is not the case as many WebCams have vulnerabilities in their software that hackers know how to exploit. Logitech cameras are perhaps the most well-known example of this.
When people get access to your WebCam using these methods they can either be used as blackmail, or be put up on dedicated webpages. Occasionally, your video will be put up for sale on the dark web. Either way, your privacy is violated. It can happen to anyone…
Some mf, literally hacked her computer, opened up her webcam and was controlling that shit from another location HOLY FUCK
— nadya🚮 (@needyaaa) February 10, 2017
Prevent WebCam hacking
If even trusted WebCam manufacturers like Logitech can have their WebCams hacked, it should be apparent that you need to personally take steps to make sure it’s secure. Let’s look at the steps you can take to prevent WebCam hacking from the easiest to the most complex:
- Tape: Yes, you read this right. Simply placing a piece of tape over your WebCam is the most simple, and ham-fisted, of ways to prevent WebCam hacking. To be fair, this doesn’t prevent hacking so much as it prevents access to hackers looking through WebCam. Your WebCams could still be hacked and accessed anytime took the tape off of the camera.
- Updates: The bulk of software updates that are sent out by manufacturers are specifically addressing vulnerabilities. Their software already worked when it was sent out, but hackers find exploits and the developer of the product then comes up with patches. For every time that you have complained about another update, think about how this update is most likely being put in place to protect you.
- Malware scans: Malware is another popular way for hackers to gain access to your computer, and your WebCam. Routinely doing a malware scan can catch programs that are on your computer for WebCam hacking purposes. Take a look at some of the best security software which will help you with this.
- Firewalls: The entire point of a good computer firewall is to prevent unauthorized access to your computer. It can prevent WebCam hacking just as easily. Click here to learn how to turn on your firewall for PC, and click here for your Mac WebCam.
- Public Wi-Fi: People connect to public Wi-Fi in all sorts of scenarios. These scenarios can include at hotel rooms. We all know what you get up to in hotel rooms with your WebCam. To prevent people from hacking the Wi-Fi itself you need a VPN which will encrypt all of your communications. Simply connect to the VPN server, and your WebCam will be un-hackable via the public Wi-Fi.
- WebCam virus software: These are simply tools which operate in the background of your computer and notify you when your WebCam is turned on. Perhaps the most well-known tool was created by a former member of the NSA.
There are many ways that you can prevent WebCam hacking. Start out with the easiest one at the top, and work your way down more complex ones depending upon your digital security needs. If not, get ready for creepy faces from people you don’t know.
OMG a guy just hacked my webcam for real. His face just appeared and it was like a FaceTime call except I never answered anything.
— i love business!!! (@roraxragu) November 24, 2016
Prevent WebCam hacking today
For people such as myself, who never actually use their WebCam, it’s enough to just put a piece of tape over it. For someone who does a lot of videoconferencing, Skype-ing with their friends, or other WebCam activities this may not be enough. That is when you would want to try one of the other five more complicated ways of protecting your WebCam.