Is your Laptop Camera Spying on you?

You might have seen people getting suspicious about the webcams on their laptops or desktop PCs. Some of the people these days think that their webcams are watching over them silently even though they are not using them rather someone else is spying on them through their webcams. We often wonder whether it is actually possible to monitor someone through his or her webcam or not. Well, we will try to explore the answer to this question in this article.

Unfortunately, your webcam can prove to be a way for a hacker to get into your computer systems and then perform all sort of activities that he wants without even getting your consent. As technology is progressing day by day, the cybercrimes are also growing very drastically. With every passing day, hackers find all new ways to cause harm to computer users. Therefore, we need to take good care of our gadgets especially when they are prone to such attacks like the webcams.

However, most of the people are not even aware of this fact that someone can even misuse their personal webcams. Therefore, they do not really care if they find their webcam doing any suspicious activity rather they only consider that it is malfunctioning. In order to spread awareness regarding this threat, today we will discuss the reasons behind the webcams being hacked. We will try to find out what do hackers do after gaining access to your system through your webcam. We will learn the ways to find out if your privacy has been compromised because of your webcam and finally, we will talk about some measures to prevent our webcams from spying on us.

Why do the Webcams get hacked?

Webcams mostly get hacked because of the following reasons:

  1. Poorly written software code, which makes your device vulnerable.
  2. You have allowed remote access to your PC either intentionally or unintentionally which means that anyone sitting anywhere around the globe can get into your system anytime he or she wants.
  3. You have tried to access or download a malicious file, which in turn has exposed your webcam to the hackers.
  4. While downloading an app, you have not read its Terms and Conditions properly and have granted the access of your webcam to it even without trying to find out if it really needs it or not.

What do Hackers do once they break into your System Through your Webcam?

Nowadays, people are habitual of keeping all of their important data in their laptops. This is exactly why privacy is becoming a major concern for everyone these days. If in any case, a hacker ever gains access to your computer system through your webcam, then he can perform the following activities:

  • Capture your photos and videos without even you knowing it and then misuse them to blackmail you.
  • Gain complete access to your data by using your webcam as a backdoor.
  • Infect your computer system by injecting different malware into it with the help of your webcam.
  • Steal your personal data from your device and then ask you for ransom in order to get it back.

Some Ways to find out if your Webcam is compromised:

Most of the times, the hackers make use of such powerful techniques to spy on you that you will not even know about it until something actually goes wrong. However, there are a few common signs that can lead you to the conclusion that the privacy of your webcam has been compromised. Those signs are listed below:

  • The LED of your webcam (if it has any) suddenly starts glowing even though you are not using your webcam.
  • You launch the Task Manager and you find out a process or processes that are currently accessing your webcam without you being aware of them.
  • You find some new video files or photos stored on your laptop that you have not captured.

How can we prevent our Webcams from Spying on Us?

We can never guarantee complete protection against all the malicious activities however, prevention is always better than cure. That is why you can and you should take the following measures in order to keep yourself from being hacked through your webcams:

  1. Always cover the webcam of your laptop whenever you are not using it. However, if you have a detachable webcam, then it is best to disconnect it every time you choose not to use your webcam.
  2. Immediately disable the remote access to your PC if it is enabled for any reason.
  3. Never ever, click on suspicious links.
  4. Do not open emails from illegitimate senders.
  5. Do not download any application from an untrusted source.
  6. Always have a good anti-virus installed on your PC so that if anything ever goes wrong, your anti-virus can immediately detect it and remove it.
  7. Periodically scan your PC to detect the presence of any unknown files.

If you will try to follow the above mentioned instructions, you can at least get 80% protection against your webcam being hacked.

Habiba Rehman
Major love for reading, but writing is what keeps me going. Dream to publish my own novels someday.