Webcam Hacked

Laptop Hacked

Computer Hacked

Updated: December 28, 2019
By: RSH Web Editorial Staff
Internet Security

How to tell if your Webcam is Hacked

The idea of someone hacking your laptop camera and spying on you is not as impossible as you may think. “Camfecting” is one of the most common hacks. All webcam hackers need to do to hijack your webcam is to install " Remote Control Malware" into your laptop (this can give them access to your personal files, messages, and browsing history). Most of the time it is easy to spot and put a stop to it

Indicator Light

If your webcam indicator light is on or acting abnormally (blinking LED) even though you haven’t turned the webcam on, it’s a sign that something might not be right. It may only be another program or browser extension running in the background and using your webcam

Browser Extensions

Restart your computer and launch your browser. If the webcam light turns on the moment you open the browser, the problem is likely to be in a browser extension. Deactivate your extensions one at a time to identify the culprit

Check Your Apps

Another potential reason why your light is flashing might be applications. To test launch an application and see if the webcam indicator comes on. Continue to open apps one by one until you spot the one using it

This process might be time consuming. You can use the Process Explorer tool for Windows. And on macOS, go to Terminal and enter specific commands

If your webcam light turns on a few seconds after you reboot your computer, without launching any applications You may have been hacked

Is your Webcam Process Running

Go to the Task Manager and look for all currently running programs under the "Processes" tab. Check for a webcam utility. Again, don’t panic yet. It may simply be a default setting to launch once you reboot your device. You can test it by restarting your computer and checking if the webcam utility has started automatically

Try starting the Webcam

Close all the programs and apps and try turning the webcam on. If you get an error message stating that your camera is already in use, it might be that your laptop’s camera has been hacked

Search for audio and video recordings

If a hacker has been spying on you, you might be able to find audio and or video recordings you did not make. Go to the folder where your webcam stores such files. And check your web-cam's settings to see if this folder location has been changed. Note: Some hackers might simply live stream everything they can see through your webcam

Run a Malware Scan

Scan your computer system for malware. If it finds anything, move the file to quarantine. If it doesn’t solve the problem and you still have suspicion that your camera is hacked, It may be time to find a tech professional

How to avoid computer camera spying

1: Is Your Firewall Enabled?
A firewall protects your system by monitoring the network traffic and blocking suspicious connections. Make sure your computer’s inbuilt firewall is up and running. To access firewall settings on Windows, go to Control Panel > System and Security > Windows Defender Firewall > Turn Windows Firewall On or Off. On macOS, head to System Preferences > Security & Privacy > Firewall

2: Use Antivirus Software
Choose one with advanced protection against malware, spyware, and viruses. An Antivirus program will take care of detecting and busting malicious threats before they do any harm

3: Phishing Traps
Hackers may disguise themselves as support agents and contact you saying there’s an issue with your "System/Computer/Program" and they have to take care of it. This is a common phishing technique cyber-criminals use to slip remote access software into your device. Such software then allows them to access your camera and manage its permissions. Also watch out for phishing emails that hide spoofed URLs and malicious files. Treat emails from unknown senders with caution and never click on suspicious links or download fishy attachments

4: Cover your Webcam
Put a piece of tape over it. It is the easiest and 100% reliable way to prevent someone from watching you through your computer camera. If you feel like the tape is not classy enough, many retailers are now offering covers that attach to a webcam and slide to open or close

5: Mac’s Web Camera
How to keep your Mac’s camera from spying on you, no tape required Free and paid software can alert you when your camera and microphone are activated

6: Messages from Hackers
If you receive threatening messages saying that someone hacked your webcam, Is it acually true? It might just be a social engineering spoof. Without you having to download anything or click on any links. Can they prove that they have webcam footage of you? Does their story make sense? Have you ever actually done what they say you did in front of your computer? These scammers don’t have the technical knowledge to hack you, but they know how to play on your emotions

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