Every day on the news channel or social media we hear about data breaches, cyber criminals hacking into databases of government and companies and stealing their data etc. , but we hardly come across any such incident of webcam hacking. Even FB founder Mark Zuckerberg and FBI Director James Comey cover their laptop’s webcam with tape to prevent their webcams from getting hacked. Nowadays every smartphone, tablet, computer, and laptops have a webcam and hence it is necessary to protect your computer from webcam hacking as it is very scary to think that someone somewhere might be watching you. So here is a list of different things you need to follow to prevent your webcam from getting hacked.
5 Ways To Know If Your Webcam Is Hacked
1.) Run a malware or virus scan
This is by far the most common and well-known method we use whenever there is a problem with our pc. An antivirus can quickly find an unwanted file/s in the pc and it can delete it.
If you want to learn furthermore about the virus file then note down the name of the file and google it and know whether it was that file who was trying to spy on your webcam.
2.) Check if any webcam process is running
Our computers are programmed in such a way that a lot of times unwanted programs run in the background. To check if the webcam is running in the background press Ctrl + Alt + Delete and open Task Manager and you will see the list of all the running background processes. If the webcam is running it will be shown in the processes tab.
Even if you find it doesn’t mean the webcam is hacked it just means that the webcam is programmed to start automatically when the computer is turned on.
If you are still unsure then restart the computer and wait for it reboot and then again check the task manager. If you find it again then just Right Click on the webcam process and select End Task.
3.) Check for any other application if it’s using the webcam
Try running the webcam and if you see a message something like “Your camera is already in use” then it means that another application is already using the webcam or the webcam is hacked. There are two ways to solve this problem:
a.) Goto Start –> Control Panel –> Add/Remove Programs –> Uninstall Programs then remove any application package that uses webcam such as chatting software. Don’t uninstall the webcam app. Now restart the computer and then start the webcam again.
b.) To find out which application is the culprit download the Microsoft Process Explorer it is an official app of the Microsoft which helps you find out which program has a particular file or directory open.
4.) Check the recording light beside the webcam
Whenever a webcam starts recording it turns on the recording light to tell the user that the webcam is on. This could be caused by certain apps.
To check who is the culprit try starting each app and see if the recording light blinks and if it blinks then that software is the culprit and if doesn’t then try other apps.
5.) Remove unwanted chrome extensions and clear cookies
Another method to prevent webcam hacking is removing unwanted chrome extensions.
A lot of times when we visit any website we get a notification whether if we want to give permission to access cookies or mic or webcam. In that case, if it is a shady website then it is a reason to worry.
To delete the cookies go to-
Settings –> Scroll down to Advanced –> In Privacy and Security tab click on Clear browsing data –> click on Clear data.
|5 Ways To Know If Your Webcam Is Hacked|
What To Do If Your Webcam Is Hacked?
No, no! breaking your laptop or pc is not the best option after you find out that your webcam is hacked, there are other methods also-
a.) Disconnect the webcam from the laptop or pc and don’t plug in until you find out the cause for your getting your webcam hacked.
b.) Tape the webcam. Even Mark Zuckerberg has on his laptop. Instead, if you want a better-looking option then use a webcam sticker which will cover the webcam and prevent it from recording unwanted things.
How To Prevent Webcam Hacking?
1.) Install antivirus software
Like it or hate it if you are not using an antivirus then you are in real trouble. Antivirus helps in detecting malware and viruses as soon as it finds any unwanted file.
There are many antiviruses out there in the market so you can choose the one which offers protection against malware or viruses. Don’t forget to update your antivirus software on regular basis and perform a periodic antivirus scan on pc.
2.) Enable Windows Firewall
Windows firewall comes as a pre-installed software for Windows-enabled PCs. When a lot of computers are connected to a home network and is protected by the firewall which will monitor network traffic and block all the unrequested network connections.
To enable the Windows firewall:
Goto Start –> Control Panel –> System and Security –> Windows Firewall –> Turn Windows Firewall On or Off.
3.) Use a VPN on public Wi-Fi networks
Nothing is free in life you have to pay for it in some form or other. But our wisdom goes to grazing when we see a board of free WiFi in the coffee shops or at airports.
Free WiFi is the most favorite technique of hackers to hack any computer or mobile phone. So using a VPN is the best way to defend our data and identification details from hackers.
4.) Avoid traps by not clicking on random links
We all receive hundreds of emails on daily basis from companies we signed up for different reasons. Most of these are promotional emails and come from email ids to whom we didn’t even sign up from.
This emails by unknown people are sent from hackers trying to claim as an employee of XYZ company selling us their product or claiming as a support staff saying that you have an issue with your software, computer or mobile phones.
So when you click on their links two things happen:
a.) Automatically a trojan virus would be installed in the computer without the permission of the user. These are mostly keyloggers who will steal your information such as credit card login details or your social media passwords.
b.) You will be directed to a login page where you would have to enter your details such as credit card info. This login page looks similar to the website of that product or service and it is also not very easy to differentiate between the fake and original. 1 most common method is to look for the “https://” in the URL bar. If it is green then it means that it is green and if it’s not there then you need to be cautious.
5.) Don’t download hacked or cracked version of any software online
Nowadays softwares are getting more advanced and powerful and the cost of those are also increasing. We all love to use branded products and so is with softwares.
But due to high prices, we end up downloading the cracked versions or torrent those kinds of stuff which is just another way for hackers to allow inside your system.
Though they claim to have the full version of the softwares with the keygen software it is nothing but just keyloggers ready to steal the information from the computers.
6.) Disable remote access
Through remote access connection, you can connect your computer from anywhere like you can control your home pc while you are at work. But having it enable when not needed is surely not a best practice to follow.
To disable it in Windows:
Goto Control Panel –> Search Allow remote access to your computer –> Disable Allow remote access to your computer.
How To Prevent Webcam Hacking?
So this are all the steps you need to know about how to prevent your computer from getting hacked, steps to prevent webcam hacking. So I hope you enjoyed this informative guide.
If you know any other method then please comment down below.