In our technology-driven world, it has become obvious that our privacy can be easily compromised. If computer hackers can penetrate the White House, they can most likely crack our personal technology devices. And yet we still use our laptops, phones, tablets and more, as if this threat doesn’t exist. But can we really afford to ignore this threat?
If you have a modern technology device capable of getting online, it most likely has a camera. If it does, there is a probability that someone is looking for money or a peek at your private, intimate moments. These driving factors have made way for a thriving black market for compromised webcams and the videos or photos they can produce. We suggest that you protect yourself by taping over your computer camera.
This tip is not based simply on paranoia. About three years ago, the FBI ran its largest cyber case, called Blackshades, in which scores of webcam hackers in more than twelve countries were arrested. According to the report, this program gave users access to photos and other files on a victim’s computer and a record all of the keystrokes entered in the victim’s keyboard. It allowed them to steal online account passwords and even activate the victim’s webcam to spy on them in secret.
That is just one vindictive tool that hackers have used on computers around the world. There is some evidence to suggest that the FBI has also hacked into people’s computers to access their webcams for surveillance purposes.
Most webcams connected to the Internet have their own IP address to allow remote access, which lets you connect directly to the webcam from any location in the world. But if your camera is not protected by a strong password, it makes it all that much easier for hackers to access your computer’s camera.
How do webcam hacks happen?
Hackers are able to access these cameras through malware. If you accidentally click a bad link or download a sinister file, this malware could contain executable code to turn on your webcam and send that video feed to a website. Oftentimes this kind of malware can even disable the camera’s LED light, so you would never know your camera has been hacked just by looking at it.
If you don’t want people watching you when you are unaware, the only thing that is a surefire method to make sure you are not being recorded is to put a physical cover or dark sticker over your webcam.
What about your cell phone’s camera? It’s possible to hack into a cell phone camera. But it’s probably less of a concern because when you are not actively using your phone, it’s usually in a handbag, pocket or sitting face-up or face-down on a table. This means it’s a less desirable target for hackers, since you’re far less likely to be in a compromising position when you’re in front of the phone’s camera.
Do you need knowledgeable and accurate information about your laptop camera or malware? Contact us here!