Are Webcams Really Spying On Your Computer?

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Are Webcams Really Spying On Your Computer?

It doesn’t take much these days to make you feel like you’re living in Orwell’s 1984. Our smart speakers are listening to us, Facebook isn’t’ being very careful with our data, what about all of those cameras on all of our computers and phones? Are they spying on us without us even knowing? Well it might not be something that you think of regularly but there have been instances of webcam hacking where people were spied on in compromising situations and as you may have guessed, it’s not easy to tell if this is happening to you. Get yourself fully secured by contacting Augusta Computer Experts in Augusta GA for the best computer protection services.

Light Pops Up Unexpectedly: Indication or Not?

A pretty obvious tell is if the light that’s attached to the webcam lights up unexpectedly. Although the absence of a light does not necessarily mean that no one is watching you. Some webcams have a light that is hardwired into the circuitry. It will always be turned on if there’s a signal being sent through the camera itself. Many others have a light that is in fact software driven. It means that a skilled hacker could turn the light on or off at will. Making matters worse it is difficult to figure out which kind of light your webcam has. However not every trick the hackers use on you is super elegant. So do pay attention if your light pops up unexpectedly when you open a web browser or launch an unrelated program.

Sometimes the culprit may be a browser extension or an application that you may be able to remove easily. Other well designed pieces of malware can leave traces on your PC. For example some of them will leave copies of recorded videos somewhere on your hard drive. Often in the default folder other recordings are saved too. So be sure to check for videos that you don’t remember recording if you think someone might be watching you. There is some good news though. Nowadays it’s getting harder and harder to accidentally get infected with malware that will spy on you through your webcam.

Back when applets like Java and Flash were far more common in browsers, it was easier to fall victim to malware of this type including spyware that could potentially take over your webcam. It could happen simply by visiting an infected website. These days because of these security concerns Java and Flash are far less common.

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Hacking In A Target Specific Way

Additionally hackers that focus on getting into webcams tend to do it in a more target specific manner. Cyber criminals who are out to steal financial information often try to cast a very wide net and get the account information of as many victims as possible. Webcam spying is often motivated by perpetrators’ desire to surveil a particular target. Even you could fall victim to a targeted phishing attack or even have surveillance software installed on your machine when you aren’t looking.

Now that isn’t to say there haven’t been instances of hackers attempting to spy on people at random. But just be careful about what kind of enemies you make. If you think people are after you all it takes is a small piece of cardboard over your webcam and no one will be able to look through it. Even then if you are concerned about It Services Augusta. Feel free to contact Augusta Computer Experts Augusta GA, always ready to tackle your computer related problems in no time.