Many PC users have reported that they somehow were spied through webcams. Let’s put the question: Is this a problem today? Can be that easy to spy on someone using his webcam? Let’s discuss why should we disable our webcams.
There are many good hackers today, besides the hackers there are NSA, different agents, different groups that search for valuable data, it means that anyone can do bad things using your own webcam even if you feel secured enough. What can they do? They can film you, take some photos and then show to someone or ask for compensation for the videos or photos of you they have. If you have kids, you have to be twice more alerted. Read why.
Who Can Spy You Through Your Own Webcam?
About fifteen years ago, almost nobody worried about being spied through a webcam. The idea came to reality just some ears ago, and today the facts are talking about how unsafe we are. You should understand that not only government can spy on you, not only spy agents, but many many more people are interested. For some of them it’s just for fun, for others are just the money.
Here are the facts:
A student in 2009 sued his school, when he found out that school was photographing him through his school-provided laptop. Investigation revealed more that 56,000 photographs of different students from that school, taken without their knowledge. Why? School could not explain why, they say that in case if laptop was stolen or something like that.
In 2013 some IT experts found that a stranger can remote start a webcam on your MacBook without the indicator light, when turning it on. This was considered as impossible before, but a former FBI agent confirmed that they have been doing it for years.
Also in 2013 Edward Snowden revealed many documents that says that NSA can successful spy you through your own iPhone or BlackBerry camera. NSA have a lot of tools that can go easily into your computer or phone without you to notice it. They use malware tools like “Gumfish” with can allow for remote video monitoring via your webcam.
In 2005 a group called themselves “BlackShades” was broken up. They have been selling for years a software that cost only $40 a pop, which permitted millions of purchasers to remote access, including webcam access almost on any computer.
There are even movies dedicated to Webcam spying, in 2015 was released a short movie called “Webcam” which is based on the real life facts.
How to Make Sure that No One is Spying on You ?
The best way to make sure that no one is spying on you, is of course to disable your webcam. Why? Because you will never know if someone is spying on you, or if someone did it earlier.
Make Sure to Have a Good Antivirus
Antivirus is not on of the best program to make your webcam safe, but it is one of the best programs to do it. It will anyway block the most spying malware. If you will not use an antivirus, your computer can be infected with thousands of malware which will spy anything you have in your computer and also can steal your data.
Unplug Your Webcam
If you have a portable webcam, make sure to keep it unplugged from USB port every time you are not using it. Keeping your webcam unplugged means that there are no chances for anyone to spy through it as there will no be any webcam connected.
Disable it from the BIOS if it is Integrated
If you are using a laptop, you cannot unplug your webcam, what you can do is go to your BIOS and disable it from there. Most BIOS does support this function
What you have to do is to reboot your computer and enter into the BIOS by pressing F2 key or DEL key. In BIOS you will have to look for something like: “CMOS camera” or “integrated camera” or “webcam”. When you find a type of this option you should make it Disable or Lock. Remember to do the same thing backwards before using your webcam.
Disable it from the Windows
Another way to disable your webcam is from Device Management, from your Desktop, right click on “My Computer” or “This PC” icon and select “Manage”. From the list on the left select “Device Management”. Now from the list on the right double click on “Imaging Devices”. Under it should be your web camera, right click on it and choose “Disable”. Remember to enable it back when you will have to use it.
The last and most simple you can do, is to cover up your webcam with a sticky paper or with some other material which is not transparent. In this case your webcam will show only a black screen, remember that your microphone will anyway transmit your voice.
If you are feeling unsafe, you can secure yourself enough. Remember you will never know or notice when someone will spy on you. It can be for just for fun, or for some more serious intentions. Take care!