Why you should cover your webcam!

Have you ever walked into an office to find that come computers have tape or post-it notes covering their webcam?
After reading a few articles online, I now do the same.

Working in the tech sector you see and hear a lot of things that are sometimes not believable. The truth is, if someone can think of it, it can probably happen.
Let’s talk about webcams on your laptop or computer. We will not get into the cameras built onto the phone in this discussion because I do not want to freak anyone out too much.
These tiny little devices allow us to communicate with friends and family either down the street or across the world. No longer do you have to pick up a phone to hear someone’s voice, Skype or Facetime them! This technology has adds great value to our lives.

But with all great ideas comes great compromise.

The adult entertainment industry takes advantage of webcams by offering real-time role playing with another person. Chat is a thing of the past when you can see and speak with the person directly. What may seem like innocent play can turn into a world of hurt. Bad computer people have targeted webcams as a way to blackmail people. By opening an email and downloading a file or clicking a click can allow the attacker remote access to your computer without your knowledge. The attacker can then use your webcam to spy on you and take pictures of you without your knowledge and consent. This is a very scary thing.

A few ways to help protect yourself.

  • Do not open emails from people you do not know. Even if it is to help a prince recover his lost fortunes that he will split with you if you help him.
  • If you receive an email from a known contact but it does not seem like something they would write, call them! Or at least create a new email and ask if they sent the previous email to you.
  • If there is a link in your email, hover your mouse over the link and see if the pop-out looks legitimate. Sometimes an attacker will write the link that is going to a normal site but code in the background a bad site.
  • Put a post-it note on your built in webcam. For those that have an external webcam, simply unplug it until you are ready to use it.

I hope you read this post as a way to gain knowledge and not as a way to be frightened.

Post any questions or comments you may have below.