You have probably come upon terrifying stories about hackers accessing webcams and later posting very personal photos and videos of the computer owners’ on the Internet. Today’s hacking technologies allow them to watch you through your web camera even without the tell-tale indicator light switching on.
Some people would think that it could be a fake fact, but, unfortunately, it is a reality and even Mark Zuckerberg covers his laptop camera to protect himself from hackers. If you are trying to think of some tricks on how to avoid hackers’ webcam attacks, this article is exactly what you need and it will give you 11 tips on how to keep your webcam from being hacked.
Use a Firewall to Protect your Network
A firewall is a network security software that tracks and filters incoming and outcoming traffic of your network based on how you initially establish security policies. Basically, a firewall is a block that stands between your private network and the global Internet. The main purpose of this security system is to keep threatening traffic out and allow non-dangerous traffic in.
Get Yourself Antivirus Software
One of the easiest ways for hackers to get access to your webcam is to install a virus on your computer. Antivirus software will serve you to identify and delete most of the viruses to keep your webcam secure. When you see an alert from your antivirus, take action and don’t ignore it. Antivirus software will help you only when you cooperate with it and react to its alerts.
Use Strong Passwords
Create secure and unique passwords for every device. Pay special attention to devices that come with default passwords, for example, your Wi-Fi router. Although it is easier to remember one password for all accounts, try to resist this temptation as it can save your private information. Also, if there is an option to enable two-factor authentication (2FA), use it.
Update Your Computer
Whenever you get notifications about the updates for your computer, don’t ignore them. Updating the software for your computer can fix the security problems which hackers could benefit from for getting access to your webcam.
For some programs, there is an option for automatic updates available. If your program has this option, turn it on. The updates will keep your computer protected and constant notifications about accessible updates won’t annoy you.
Make Sure Your Wi-Fi is Secured
Hackers may attack your Wi-Fi network through which for them opens access to your emails, bank and social media accounts, and a webcam. Here are some steps on how to protect your network:
- Create a name and password for your router. Avoid names for your router that can tell any information about you and double-check that your password is strong enough and includes uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters.
- Select the most modern form of encryption you can, which nowadays is WPA2.
Don’t Download Random Files
Avoid downloading unknown files that you found on the Internet nor open the files that were sent to you in emails that you weren’t expected to get. Never click any suspicious links as they can lead you to install malware.
How can you defend yourself? Click only on those links and download the attachments that you get from trusted people. Even if you get a link from your friend but it looks uncertain to you, contact your friend to learn if they were really sending you anything.
Remove Emails That Say Someone Has Already Hacked Your Webcam
There is a special kind of scammers that send emails to random people telling them that they have hacked your computer and installed a webcam recorder so that now they have an embarrassing video of you. After that, they threaten to post that video to the internet unless you pay them a large sum of money.
Don’t do it! The scammers are confident that many people will pay them because they get scared, but most of those e-mails are just a scam. What you should do is delete this email and check your computer with a good antivirus and malware program to be confident that your computer is safe.
Note, that if a hacker does have a photo or video of you, giving them money won’t guarantee you that your video is not going to be shared.
Restrict the Permission to Your Webcam
You can control which apps have access to our webcam. Turn off the webcam for those apps which you don’t use or you can disable your webcam if you never use it.
Although this method can save you from many hackers’ attacks, it can still be neglected and you can’t feel fully safe. The single way to know that your webcam won’t be hacked is to disconnect it or cover it with something.
Cover or Unplug Your Webcam
Obviously, the best way to protect yourself from being hacked is to unplug your webcam, but today most people have laptops with a built-in webcam that can’t be unplugged, only physically covered.
Even though covering your camera won’t prevent hackers from accessing it, it will definitely stop them from seeing anything.
Turn Off Your Laptop When You Are Doing Something Personal
If you know you are going to do something that you wouldn’t want any stranger’s eyes to see, then switch off your computer. In case you have already covered your camera, a hacker can still have access to your microphone and get to know something intimate.
Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN)
A VPN is a perfect tool that can advance your privacy whether you are using a home or public Wi-Fi. A VPN can help you to save your data by making a secured personal network for you. The downside of using a VPN is that there is always going to be a latency factor.
Your outgoing action is routed to the VPN server and then to the final destination. When that requested data (page etc) is returned, it goes first to the VPN server and then to you. The speed at which that VPN server operates is the critical factor in minimizing that latency.
So, in today’s world of modern technologies, people can’t feel totally safe even in their own homes because someone can always be watching them. We do not need to be putting up with it, instead, we need to secure ourselves from this kind of danger. This article with numerous useful tips can help you to deter hackers from invading your privacy, so follow the tips and be sure that no one is secretly keeping an eye on you.