How can I protect myself from webcam hacking?
It is indeed possible to hack a webcam. Let's review the optimal methods you can use to protect yourself against webcam hacking.
First line of defence: cover your webcam
A simple webcam shutter will render any attempt to capture photos or videos ineffective. Therefore, we strongly advise to hide your webcam with a DIY solution or for more ease of use with our webcam cover available here 😉
Update your computer
Although it may seem daunting, it's really effective because software publishers (Windows / Apple / Adobe / Java / Web Browsers) publish patches to overcome regularly published security floors.
A complete and up-to-date antivirus
One effective method to protect yourself as a private individual is to have a good Antivirus that is up-to-date and complete.
We cannot emphasise the term "complete" enough because in effect some vendors offer free Antivirus solutions that unfortunately are limited in their operations.
Based principally on an index of digital signatures, when antivirus software encounters a new virus or a variant, they remain ineffective and let the virus pass.
In contrast, a system based on digital signatures coupled with a behavioural threat detection mechanism (heuristic system) enables the system to be proactive against new threats.
Additionally, certain promising and effective "sandbox" systems that enable the execution of new files arriving on your computing in a closed environment for analysis enable optimal protection.
Configure your router
Your computer is not the only one to blame when a virus infection is successful
Routers leased from internet service providers have a default configuration that generally does not pose a problem in terms of security
However, once again, human error comes into play and the changes that you make to your router may have you thinking that it is risk free.
However, your router's firewall is the main barrier protecting your computer equipment.
Here are some points that should not be neglected when configuring your router.
1/ Port forwarding rules
When you install new software or new network devices, such as a surveillance camera, what can happen is that it requests you to open a port in your router.
Doing so is not without consequence. A configuration that allows port access to your camera or computer is a door easily opened and reachable from the internet.
While it may be convenient to monitor your camera from your phone while you're out, a better option is to choose a camera that utilises a secure external server to which you can connect via an app on your phone.
2/ A strong WiFi password
Another aspect to verify regarding router configuration is the complexity of your WiFi password.
In wanting to simplify connection, you may be tempted to configure your router with a simple password however in doing so you would only allow hackers easier access to your computer as though they are present in your home with a direct wired connection to your router.
Pay attention to where you're clicking
Hackers are smart and you may have experienced this firsthand.
In this article we explained that human error is what hackers rely on the most to hack your webcam. Therefore, while browsing the internet, you must take extra care when browsing unsafe websites or websites that you don't often visit.
A click on what you perceive to be just simple text or a simple image is all it takes for multiple pop-up adverts to appear that are a trouble to close.
Sometimes these ads include images that look very similar to the button that closes a window (the easily recognisable red "X" at the top right of your window), but clicking this will trigger a new, sometimes malicious, ad to appear before you once again.
Similarly, when you download an application for your computer or phone, here too caution should be exercised because hackers have ulterior motives when offering free applications that are nothing more than intermediaries to infect your devices.
Therefore, we advise you to verify that the application's creator and publisher match that of the desired application in your phone's application store and to consult users' ratings and reviews as well as the number of downloads that the application has had. Taking into account the consistency between all these elements will allow you to make the best choice.
When it comes to downloading software for your computer, a good method is to take the time to find the publisher's official website and download it from the right place. As a general rule, the publisher of the software you're looking for has often arranged for their website to be indexed among the first results of a search engine query for terms related to the name of the respective software.
Protect your web browser
With the goal of protecting yourself against attacks stemming from websites or malicious ads, a good course of action is to install an ad-blocker to stop such pages or ads from appearing in the first place.
Secondly, but this will require a bit of effort and should be avoided by newcomers to computers, you can utilise a script blocker.
Malicious websites and adverts very often use scripts to execute their viruses. This second method allows you to choose whether you want these scripts executed in the first place.
After some time browsing with these tools, you can allow adverts and scripts to run by default on websites of your choice, and conversely on other websites you can choose not to open or run anything. It takes a bit of practice at first, but your proceeding web browsing will be safer.