You certainly hear a lot about various cybersecurity threats, including malware, ransomware, and phishing. You may have excellent protection against potential viruses and data breaches, but what about your web camera? Are you sure no one could hack it?
There’s nothing more alarming than someone accessing your webcam and secretly watching you or your family. Unfortunately, this is not uncommon, and it can affect anyone. But, luckily, you can take some precautions to prevent it from happening to you. Here’s what you can do.
Unplug or Cover Your Webcam When You’re Not Using It
If you’re using an external web camera, be sure to unplug it when you’re not using it. That way, you can be sure no one is spying on you. Many external webcams have covers you can close over the lens, so it’s smart to get such a camera.
If you’re using a laptop with an integrated camera, you should cover it when not in use. You can put a Post-It note over it, a sticker, or any kind of masking tape. This is what Mark Zuckerberg does, and a whole lot of other people.
Some laptops come with a sliding cover for their webcams, but you can also buy those little webcam covers separately.
Don’t Click on Suspicious Email Attachments
A lot of hackers use email as a means of gaining access to people’s files and sensitive information. They attach files in emails that install malicious software when you click on them.
A potential hacker could gain access to your webcam by sending you a RAT (Remote Administration Tool) via email. That’s software that enables them to remotely take control over your device, including your web camera.
This is why you should never click on any email attachments unless you’re sure they’re from a trusted source.
Email platforms use various precautions to filter out anything harmful, but they’re not always successful. Something that should be in your junk could find its way to your inbox, posing as something seemingly trustworthy. So, it’s often up to you to prevent criminals from hacking you via email.
Use a VPN
Having a VPN on your PC or laptop is one of the best ways to protect it. A VPN will make it impossible for anyone to send malicious codes to your browsing sessions, thus accessing your webcam. This is because it will encrypt your internet connection and hide your online activity.
If you connect your webcam via WiFi or Bluetooth, a VPN will protect it from potential hackers. It will encrypt the connection, so no one will be able to control your camera.
However, it doesn’t protect you from malicious email attachments or downloads, so you still need to be careful with those.
Be sure to check a NordVPN review, as it can give you a better insight into all the VPN benefits. Any NordVPN review you come across will show you why getting a VPN is the smartest thing you can do.
Follow all of these tips, because each of them is an important security measure for keeping peeping Toms at bay. When combined, all of these tips will give you the level of security you need and deserve.
Regularly Update Your Web Camera’s Software
If you don’t regularly update your webcam software, you won’t have access to the latest security features. Software updates come with security and bug fixes, so they can fix any vulnerability your web camera may have.
Therefore, make sure you set your camera to update automatically whenever there’s a new update. You can also regularly visit the official website of your webcam’s manufacturer to check for the latest updates.
Don’t Turn Off Your Windows Firewall
Windows Firewall is there to protect your data and ensure no one finds their way into your system. So, turning it off is never a good idea. If any program requires you to turn off your firewall to install it, don’t install it. It may be only for a few seconds, but that’s more than enough for a potential hacker to get through.
To check if your Windows Firewall is running, go to Control Panel in the Start menu, and click on System and Security. You’ll see Windows Defender Firewall. Click on it, and you’ll see whether or not the firewall is on.
Install Antivirus Software
Your Windows Defender Firewall protects you, but antivirus software will give you an extra layer of security. So, if you don’t have one, be sure to install it. It will protect your data, ensuring no potential hacker could crawl into your system.
Antivirus software will also prevent criminals from gaining remote control of your devices, which includes your web camera.
Just like you need to frequently update your webcam software, you also need to keep your antivirus software up-to-date. That way, it will be able to fully protect you from any cybersecurity threats.