Hackers can take control of your webcam by installing malware on your laptop. However, you have the upper hand when you know how it is being hacked and the preventive measures to take.
In this article, we will do well on hackers can gain access to your laptop camera and how you can protect yourself from being violated.
How to Know If Your Laptop Camera Is Hacked
There are different signs and warnings that your laptop camera has been hacked.
Your laptop camera is on at suspicious times
If you notice that your laptop camera is on when you are not using it, it is usually a sign that a hacker is watching you in the background. For instance, MacBook turns on a green light when the camera is turned on.
Whenever your camera light is acting up could mean that the light of your Mac camera is not working or the hacker uses malware to block the camera light.
If you notice any strange software you didn’t install on your laptop, it could be a sign that a hacker has accessed your device.
When you get unusual pop-ups on your laptop or continuous error messages, it could be a warning sign of impending danger from a hacker.
If your laptop is not performing to optimal capacity or running extremely slow, it could be a sign of malware that could open your device up for a hack.
Uninitiated network activity
If you notice any unusual network activity on your laptop, it could be a warning sign that your laptop has been compromised, which may mean your camera is hacked too.
Unexpected video or image files on your laptop
When you notice any unexpected video or image file on your laptop, it means your camera has been hacked. It is true 80% of the time because most webcams save their recorded videos on the laptop drive.
Changes in webcam security settings
Check your webcam settings to see if there are any suspicious changes in the security settings. If there are any and you can’t rectify them, it is a sign of malware on your laptop trying to hijack your camera.
What to do if you notice that your laptop camera has been hacked
If you notice that your laptop camera has been hacked, it is very important that you take action immediately. Follow these steps to mitigate the risk of your personal data being stolen:
- Disconnect your laptop from the internet to avoid further access
- Run a scan with antivirus software to check for malware and remove it immediately
- Change the passwords protecting your personal information
- Then, update or reinstall your OS.
How to prevent your camera from being hacked
Use a security software
There are lots of security software programs that you can use to fish out and prevent hackers from getting access to your laptop camera, like Avast, Bitdefender, Norton, and Clario.
Make sure your operating system is up to date
Update your OS, web browser, and other software in your privacy defense line. It will reduce the risk of your camera being hacked.
Follow this step-by-step guide to update the operating system of your Mac:
- Tap your Apple icon
- Click on the System Preferences or About This Mac
- Click on Software Update
If an update is available, click Update Now
Check Automatically Keep My Mac Up To Date to enable automatic updates.
Beware of phishing attacks
Phishing attacks are a common but dangerous cyber security attack that hackers can launch on you as a potential target to gain access to your laptop and ultimately hack your camera by sending emails, sms, or messages that contains malicious links.
Cover your camera
As a physical preventive measure, covering your camera can stop hackers from gaining unauthorized access to recording your video or taking your pictures.
Make use of your firewall setting
Check your firewall settings to scan for any unauthorized connections and block them immediately if there are any. Also, ensure that you upgrade the security level of your firewall.
Follow this step-by-step guide to enable the firewall on your Mac:
- Click on your Apple menu
- Go to System preference
- Click on Network
- Click on the Firewall tab and turn it on.
Stay clear of public Wi-Fi
Avoid connecting to public Wi-Fi because it is an opportunity for hackers to sneak malware into your laptop. People using free hotspots are always vulnerable to hacking attacks.
Is your webcam light always on when in use?
Your laptop camera light indicator can alert you when it is on, but it is not always so. This is because hackers use malware to turn off your light camera when being in use.
This was discovered in 2013 after a team of engineers hacked a MacBook camera without the lights coming on.
Also, many webcams have built-in IR sensors that allow them to be used in conditions of low light. This means a camera light indicator is only sometimes reliable.
So, if your laptop camera light is on when you are not using it does not mean that you are being hacked. Therefore you should take the necessary preventive measures to stop hackers from accessing your laptop.
Generally, laptop camera hacking is a real, serious, and growing threat. That is why you need to know how hackers can gain access to your laptop camera and, most importantly, how to prevent it.
By following the step-by-step guide in this article, you can protect yourself from falling victim to laptop camera hackers. Stay Informed!