Hackers could infiltrate any electronic device with a camera including desktop computers, laptop computers, security cameras, tablets, and mobile phones. Their attacks don’t have to focus on the equipment that supports the webcam. Hackers look for any unsecured or lightly secured network point to enter home networks. Cameras hacked by these bad actors will be controlled by them remotely.
How Webcam Hacking Takes Place
Often, hackers enter the lives of targets through email messages that claim to provide information or entertainment to readers. They will persuade email recipients to click on the files attached or the links to access the information. This approach is called phishing. Also, hackers may entice email recipients to visit a site that victims may be interested in. But, this website actually downloads malware onto the device of the viewer. By following the instruction of the hacker, the recipient unknowingly downloads malware into their device.
How to Tell if a Webcam is Hacked
Webcam hackers slip remote-control malware into an electronic device to hijack its webcam. But, it is easy to spot the warning signs and stop the activity. Here are signs that indicate a webcam is hacked:
- The indicator light is turned on at odd times. If the indicator light is turned on when not in use, this could mean somebody has taken control of the cam remotely and uses it to take a look. Users must check their active apps to see if they cause such activity.
- Unexpected webcam video files stored on the device. These video files may have random names or tags, so users need to check out any strange files and see if something has been made maliciously.
- Changed security settings. Some malware may change security settings, so hackers can easily control the webcam and send or receive files.
Ways to Fight Webcam Intrusions
To prevent intrusions, people should not click on links in suspicious emails, ads, or instant messages from unknown sources. Sometimes, emails may seem to come from a reputable source such as a bank or important service provider. If this happens, they should contact the company directly to get the information they need without using the phone number the mail provides.
Another way to prevent webcam hacks is to put a piece of opaque tape over the lens of the camera or unplug cameras when not in use. Also, device passwords must be changed to lengthy, complex combinations of letters, numbers, and special symbols.