Webcam hacking started in the 2000s when external webcams started to gain widespread popularity. Nowadays, most modern laptops and all-in-one computers come with built-in webcams for extra convenience.
Since one cannot physically unplug a built-in webcam, many internet users cover their laptop webcams with a piece of tape or specially designed sliding covers when not in use, in order to prevent hackers from using it. Mark Zuckerberg is one of the most famous people to admit to doing that, and you can add this physical layer of protection yourself if you haven’t done it already.
The essential question here is: How can you protect yourself from hackers when you actually need to use the camera for Zoom or other online meetings? Before we answer that, let’s start with the “why.”
Why Should You Protect Your Webcam at all Times
By using webcam vulnerabilities and remote administration tools (RAT) that moonlight as spy software, hackers can gain access to your camera and control it from afar. Your computer might be infected with a Trojan, either from a website download, an e-mail attachment or by simply accessing a malicious link.
Once the hackers get access to your webcam, they can record everything in sight and use those videos as blackmail currency (ransomware). They can also take note of your daily schedule and know when you are not around.
How Can You Protect Against Webcam Hacking
If you keep your webcam off or covered, you might think you are off the hook, but there’s a catch. The pandemic has completely transformed the way we work, study and interact with our colleagues. Zoom meetings are so common nowadays that webcam covers seem to have lost most of their power. More so, cybercrimes have increased threefold since the beginning of the pandemic.
The most viable solution — now and for the future — is a special software feature, such as LifeLock SafeCam.
What Is SafeCam and How Does It Protect You?
You may have security software currently installed on your computer, but does it also offer webcam protection for Zoom and beyond? SafeCam is a LifeLock software feature that alerts you when someone attempts to connect to your webcam and blocks malware and people not authorized to access it. This is personal online protection at its finest.
Since identity protection and webcam protection are security measures that everyone should be able to implement and benefit from, we encourage you to save money on LifeLock with a special promo code that gets you up to 25 percent off your first year.
It comes as part of a multi-layered defense system that protects you against cybercriminals by preventing intrusions, scanning and eradicating malware files, detecting and removing high-risk apps, as well as classifying software applications files based on globally available reputation information combined with AI.
The Bottom Line in Webcam Protection
It is also useful to know the signs that your webcam has been hacked. The most common ones are unusual webcam behavior, such as its tiny light turning on at odd times and unknown video files stored on your computer.
The thing is, even if you don’t notice these signs, that doesn’t make you less vulnerable, not until proper security measures are in place on all your devices connected to the internet. It is of utmost importance to protect yourself against identity theft, and LifeLock services such as SafeCam are a valuable investment for the entire family.