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How to know if your PC webcam has been hacked and how to tackle it

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  • 4 min read

Your webcam is just the portal into your life whenever you open up your PC. Have you ever wondered how to find out if your webcam is compromised?

Well, you’re in luck because that’s what we’re going to answer for you today.

How to figure out if your PC/Laptop’s webcam is hacked

Every day, hackers find new sophisticated techniques, malware and hardware bugs that they can exploit to get access to your webcam. Here are some signs which could tell you if your webcam is compromised.

  • Check your webcam’s LED light activity this is a dead giveaway which indicates that your webcam is activated and if you’re not the one doing it you can be sure that someone else is. However, more sophisticated hackers can mask this too.
  • Check your task manager for any unknown programs. Hackers need to run applications in the background to activate your webcam.
  • Check your notification window. If your webcam software allows it, you can come across notification of it running if it’s used.
  •  Attempt to run the webcam if you get an error that it is already in use you can be sure something’s up.
  • Try running an antivirus scan there is a high probability that the antivirus would find the infection.

Also read: Why you shouldn’t leave your device’s Bluetooth switched on in public?

What can you do if you’re compromised?

How to know if your PC webcam has been hacked and how to tackle it

First off don’t panic. It might alert the perpetrators who might make it difficult for authorities to track them if you choose to report them. Turn off your system and unplug the power source. Next, cover the webcam and microphone with tape or anything which might block the access to the hackers.

Now, boot up your system set up temporary firewall rules to block audio and video traffic. Uninstall the webcam driver and finally, run a complete scan of your system using a reputable anti-virus and anti-malware software.

Note: If you have sensitive, confidential data stored on your PC and believe you’ve been compromised contact the authorities and seek professional help immediately.

Now, since you’ve learned how to check if your webcam is compromised here are some tips to protect yourself from falling prey to these hacks.

Install an antivirus software

It’s possible that you already have antivirus software on your PC. However, if you don’t, please consider installing one and allow it to update continually and scan your PC to keep it secured.

Turn on your Firewall

Turning on your firewall would help you block miraculous content from getting on to your system, and you should also regularly monitor your firewall rules for any un-approved changes.

Secure your WiFi connection

Why and how to encrypt your Android device?

Using an unsecured WiFi connection opens up possibilities for hackers to compromise your webcam avoid using public WI-FI as it is a popular means for criminals to get access to your PC.

Think before you download or allow someone else on your PC

Unless it is a trusted source think twice before you hit that download button or allow someone to access your PC. It is straightforward for someone to install a simple code to access your PC’s webcam or even your private data.

Disable remote access

Consider disabling the remote access feature on your PC as it’s an easy way for criminals to take control over your PC. Also, beware of sites offering “Free tech-support” as it is a popular means for criminals to get into your PC.

Just tape it

You may have come across a picture of Mark Zuckerberg (CEO of Facebook) sitting on his workplace with his MacBook with tape over its webcam. Hey, if it works for Mr.Zuckerberg, it’s probably an acceptable countermeasure. You can remove it when you need to access your webcam and retape it anytime it is a cheap and effective way to be safe.

Almost Every day we come across news of hacks and data breaches all over the world if you feel like you’ve been watched it doesn’t hurt to go through these checks and employ these countermeasures to keep your data and identity safe from criminals.

Also read: Can data be recovered after a factory reset and how to avoid that

Mani Maaran

Mani Maaran