How Webcams are Hacked and How to Protect Yourself

Police have been focusing a lot of their time towards bringing down online hackers, which have really been upping their game lately. A 27-year old woman recently contacted the police after having someone send her photos of herself naked. The photos were taken from her computer’s webcam, but she never took them. It’s shocking, creepy and seems like it’s straight out of a movie.

blackshades virus

How do hackers gain access to your webcam?

Hackers use different methods to gain access to your computer, but one of the most common ways is by installing Blackshades on your device. Blackshades is a type of malware that allows them to control your computer remotely. This means they can open and close applications, they can view your files and they can even turn on your webcam and snap photos of you.

webcam virus

Another method they use is by logging into your webcam’s admin panel. More than 50% of people use the standard webcam password, which is the default password when you purchase the webcam. Since this default password remains the same for all webcams manufactured by the same company, it’s incredibly easy for hackers to enter your admin panel and watch your live webcam feed.

How to protect yourself from webcam hacking

While it seems like these webcam hackers are code geniuses, they are basically just copying and pasting hack scripts and sending malware that they did not create. You can easily get rid of 99% of hackers by changing a few things on your computer. The first thing to change is your webcam’s password. Never keep the default password; it’s like leaving your house key under your front doormat. Also, when picking your password, use something difficult and write it down somewhere. You won’t have to type it in often, so it doesn’t need to be something quick and short.

The next step is crucial; install anti-malware and anti-virus software on your computer. So many people take it for granted and don’t bother wasting time or money with such tools. However, it’s the leading cause for webcam hacks. With a great anti-malware tool, your computer will be able to detect Blackshades and remove it. There are some good quality anti-virus and anti-malware programs available online for free.

webcam security

It’s important to run daily computer scans with your anti-virus. If you don’t want to do it on a daily basis, do it at least once per week. Also, make sure to keep your anti-malware and anti-virus software updated at all times.

Finally, you can use a cheap and quick fix, which consists of placing a piece of tape over your webcam. If it’s an external webcam, only plug it into your computer when you actually need to use it.

Peeping Toms can become incredibly dangerous. By listening in on your private life, they can find out information that could put your life at risk. Don’t cut any corners when it comes to your privacy; go all out and keep yourself safe from hackers at all times.

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