Has your Webcam Security been Compromised? Here are 6 Tips to Protect Yourself
Most of us know the story about Mark Zuckerberg covering his laptop’s webcam and mic with tape. Taking the cue, many people started covering their cams and mics – after all, it is a simple and quite effective way to prevent hackers from spying on you. However, it doesn’t prevent your system from being hacked; it just doesn’t let the hacker see or hear you. In this article, we list six webcam security tips to protect yourself from hackers. As our Perth cybersecurity team always says, awareness is the first step. So, here’s the first step.
How to know if your webcam is hacked?
Before proceeding to webcam security tips, it is necessary to know how to check if your webcam has been hacked. You may not be immediately aware when someone hacks your webcam. At times, even when the antivirus software fails to detect anything unusual, you may notice something that sets alarm bells ringing. Here are a few ways to check if your webcam has been compromised:
1. Keep an eye on the webcam light
It is normal for the webcam light to be on when you are using it or when certain applications are running in the background. However, if the light remains on even after you have closed all apps or exited the webcam, your webcam may be hacked.
2. Go through your video files
Check your webcam recordings in the computer files. If there are recordings that you have not made and you are sure you have not accidentally clicked on the record button, your webcam security may be compromised.
3. Watch out for suspicious webcam settings
If there are unusual changes in your webcam settings that you have not made, there is a possibility a hacker may have altered settings to access your webcam and secretly record visuals.
4. Pay attention to data usage
Close all apps and monitor your data usage. If it still shows high data usage, it may indicate malware in the system.
5. Run security checks
Running security scans can help understand if malware has infected your system. You can either use your system’s antivirus software or download a trustworthy one.
Webcam Security tips to protect yourself
Making proper cybersecurity habits the norm is the first step to ensuring your privacy. Even if your system features high-end security software, it will not work as expected unless you keep updating it and regularly run scans. So here are 6 webcam security tips to protect yourself against malware threats and other vulnerabilities.
1. Cover up the webcam when not in use
Nothing works as well as this simple tip. There is no way a hacker can spy on you if the camera is covered. If your webcam doesn’t come with a slide cover, use a bit of electrical tape to cover the camera. Better still, use a webcam cover, as tape can sometimes leave a sticky residue.
2. Secure your microphone too
Even when access to your webcam has been restricted, hackers can still record audio. Manually disabling the microphone is the best way to prevent such issues. You can manually disable the webcam and microphone in Device Manager settings.
3. Think twice before enabling app permissions
If you have provided permission to apps or browser extensions to access the webcam, these may change your webcam settings. As a result, you may notice the webcam light turning on even when not in use. Do not provide permissions to apps unless you are sure that it is absolutely necessary and the app is a trusted one.
4. Use strong, unique passwords
Avoid using the same password across all your devices. Change the default passwords on webcams and routers. If you are unable to remember all passwords, get a password manager app to help you out.
5. Do not click on suspicious links
Malware usually appears as phishing emails with genuine-looking links. Clicking on such links can inadvertently download malware to your system. Avoid opening any suspicious-looking email or clicking on any links within it. Read our blog on phishing emails to know more.
6. Activate automatic security updates
Update the device software and security software as soon as you receive update notifications. Most updates feature advanced security improvements that will keep your system protected from malware.
Pandemic or no pandemic, remote work is here to stay, at least partially. Remote video calls with clients, friends and family who live far away are almost a regular thing. Whether inbuilt or as a separate gadget, you must ensure webcam security to avoid falling prey to cybercriminals. It is also essential that in an office or workspace, everybody follows these security measures to avoid hackers spying or eavesdropping into the workspace.
Remember that webcam security issue is just one of the problems caused due to the presence of malware. Once you fortify your system with reputed security software and keep updating these defences regularly, you should be safe from malware threats and other security breaches. We hope you found these tips helpful. To know more about cybersecurity practices, tips and strategies, head to our cybersecurity blog or contact us to speak to a consultant.
Phishing – A form of cyberattack where fraudulent communication that appears legitimate are sent to people with the purpose of obtaining sensitive information.
Malware – A software designed specifically to cause disruption, damage or gain unauthorised access to a computer, network, server or mobile device.
Password Manager – A software application that allows users to generate, store, retrieve and manage app and online passwords in an encrypted database.