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Cover your webcam when you are not using it!!

Updated: Jul 5, 2019

I am hoping that since the Family Cyber Clinic YouTube channel launched almost a month ago... we are becoming more aware of the security vulnerabilities that exist on familiy computers (particularly on our kid's computers ). As already hinted.. They are being exposed to these threats on a day-to-day basis…

The good news is that we can do something about it.

In today’s blog, we are looking at Webcam vulnerabilities - Protection against someone remotely accessing your webcam?

Some Context

In January, the U.S. government charged an Ohio man for 13 years of cyber theft , alleging he used malware to steal personal data from thousands of people, plus take over cameras and microphones that allowed him to "to surreptitiously record images and audio."

Imagine if our family computer or 'God forbid' a child's laptop is compromised and a rogue has access to the webcam… It is frankly disturbing to contemplate the damage that can be caused.

The following are a few precautions you can take to minimize the risks.

1. Unplug the webcam or cover it up Cameras are now found in multiple devices, including laptops, tablets, smartphones, and more.

If you’re using an external webcam (one that plugs into your computer’s USB port) – only connect it when you need it. I know it can be a pain to remember to plug it in whenever you want to use it but at least you’ll know 100% no one is spying if there’s no camera connected.

Some external cameras have a small cover you can close over the webcam lens… If your webcam doesn’t have this, you can point it to the ceiling until you need it or place a small piece of electrical tape on the front of the webcam. You can buy little covers to place over your laptop’s lens from Amazon.

If your laptop or desktop has a built-in webcam, be sure to have good computer security software installed.

2. A strong security suite includes antivirus, anti-spyware, a firewall, and other tools to keep the bad guys from getting in.

3. It’s critical to keep the security software up to date.

4. Another tip is to go to the webcam’s settings/options and a notification when it’s being used, such as a small light that turns on near the webcam or a sound alert – if it doesn’t do it already.

Let’s be safe.

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