How to Protect Your Webcam from Being Hacked?

Webcam seems like an omnipotent component that comes with every smart tech we see and use today. We have webcams on our smartphones, laptops, PCs, smart TVs and, in fact, on our smart fridges.

Well, it doesn’t matter whether you an avid webcam user or not. The important thing to know here is that you can never know if there’s someone else using your cam and spying in on your every activity. Believe it or not, webcam spying is a real thing, and it gets worse. Hackers and other cybercriminals aren’t the only ones doing it but intelligence agencies as well.

In fact, the internet is overflowing with actual cases and incidents about hacking and non-consensual surveillance practices.

Regardless, putting a tape over your webcam isn’t enough to stop the unwanted spying. To protect your privacy, you need to go beyond the usual countermeasures.

Read on to learn more about webcam spying and how to protect your webcam from being hacked by taking some effective steps.

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The Dangers of Webcam Spying

Professional hackers are adept at devising intrusive ways to breach your privacy and spy on your activities or steal your private data.

Especially-Designed Malware

These are sneaky, malicious tools that can be designed in any number of ways to serve any type of purpose that the hacker wants. Some are mainly designed for exploiting a security vulnerability in a webcam or microphone.

One such case would be the RAT malware which was developed by a 24-year old Swedish hacker. The malware ended up infecting over half a million devices. Apart from that, a Canadian research lab revealed a list of 21 countries involved in national-level spying using similar malware.

In 2016, a new type of threat was introduced to the world, Delilah, and it especially targeted the business sector. The malicious tool was used to access a business’ webcam feeds and blackmail employees and even the entire company.

Moreover, in 2017, WikiLeaks exposed a set of confidential documents on how the government had been (and it is still) busy exploiting consumer electronics, including the webcams on Smart TVs.

Browser Permissions

Webcam spying isn’t limited to malware attacks. Some websites also ask for different permissions which may include accessing your cam. The browser, usually, prompts a confirmation, but most users often ignore it and click “Yes” or “Okay.”

Remember that not every website is to be trusted, especially those that don’t have any business accessing your webcam. Most importantly, you would put your privacy at a huge risk by allowing a website access to your webcam that doesn’t even have SSL protection.

Apps Permissions

Same as your browsers, your mobile applications also ask for permissions. Similar to the abovementioned case, not every app needs access to your webcam, but it still asks for permission. Make sure that you don’t permit apps that you don’t trust or apps that you have downloaded from third-party stores.

Effective Measures You Can Take for Webcam Protection

Use a Camera Cover

The oldest tricks in the book, yet the most effective of all. Though people might be using it for ages, the practice gained traction when a picture of Mark Zuckerberg’s laptop went viral. After the incident, more and more users started covering their cams with paper or tapes. However, there are now cam covers available in stores for this exact purpose.

Use an Anti-malware Tool

Now that you know how deadly malware attacks can be, it is important for you to install and use an anti-malware tool. And don’t stop at that. You should also keep the virus definitions of the tool up-to-date and do a regular scanning of your device to detect and remove any vulnerability.

Don’t Click Suspicious Links

Downloading email attachments without giving it a second thought has been proved fairly risky, time and again. Phishing emails have always been an effective method for hackers to scam people, spy on them and even steal their identity. In fact, these emails can also lead to webcam hacking. The hacker only needs you to click the link, and the rest is at the mercy of the hacker. So, don’t click any attachment or link which seems suspicious or which is sent by an unknown sender.

Update OS Security Patches

The importance of security patches is often downplayed. In fact, it is the vulnerability in a system that allows hackers to easily gain unauthorized access to the device and do whatever they like. Truth be told, security vulnerabilities in the OS are the first aspects hacker look for when attempting to compromise a device or network. Therefore, it is recommended to keep the OS patches up-to-date, especially the security patches.

Turn on OS Firewall

The purpose of a Firewall is to keep the network secure against unauthorized access by monitoring all the incoming and outgoing traffic and also controlling which connection to block. If your firewall is disabled for any unknown reasons, turn it on and keep it that way to ensure maximum protection.

PureVPN’s 256-bit Encryption Assures Highest-Possible Security

The tips mentioned above might save you from potential webcam hacking and spying to some extent. However, as mentioned earlier, seasoned hackers know their way around tackling hindrances. The only ideal way to ensure that your webcam remains safe against any hacking attempts is a VPN service.

You don’t need any lengthy guide on how to protect your webcam from being hacked. What you need to do is subscribe to PureVPN, download it on your device and enjoy total protection.

Once you join the Internet through our secured VPN servers, all your communication or data becomes encrypted. Therefore, even if any cybercriminal tries to infiltrate your data, they only get gibberish as a reward.

Apart from encryption, you can spoof your real IP address to throw away unwanted stalkers (hackers) on a wild goose chase whey they try to locate you from your IP or location.

So, enjoy safe and secure video conversation and internet surfing with PureVPN.