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How to keep your computer webcam secure

Cybercrime continues to be an increased risk for everyone who is on the internet. The hacking of a laptop webcam, or a webcam attached to a desktop PC, is just one of the many ways a hacker can invade your privacy. Once a piece of malware, such as a trojan horse, has infected your computer, it can install remote desktop software. This gives a hacker control of your laptop webcam or of a separate webcam attached to your desktop PC. On top of this, they could gain access to other cams that are part of your network, such as a personal security system.

A hacker might then use photos or video footage for a variety of reasons, from personal extortion to social media attacks. You may feel the chances of this are minuscule and that you have nothing to worry about either personally or professionally. However, many internet users elect to play it safe and protect their privacy.

The good news is that following these basic security measures can help keep your webcam secure.

1. Updating software and installing virus protection

Keep all of the software on your computer up to date. The constant updates made available include patches that strengthen security, closing gaps that could enable hackers to access your device. It’s also important to have reputable antivirus software installed.

2. Firewall protection

Most computers come with a firewall in place that provides security to the network your device is part of. Therefore, it’s a good idea to check that your device’s firewall is turned on. You can do this by navigating to the network profile, from the Settings tab on your PC, or the System Preferences on an Apple device.

3. Watch for suspicious links

Never click on a link or download a file from a person or company you don’t trust. Even then, the email you receive could be fake, so if you’re unsure, check with the person or the institution you received it from.

4. Cover your webcam

When it’s not in use, you can opt to cover your webcam. You can purchase covers specially designed for this purpose, to attach to your webcam, or for a low-tech solution, simply use tape, or a sticker, or even a post-it note.

You can check whether your webcam has been hacked by running a security scan from your antivirus provider. If your webcam light is on when it’s not in use, this could be a sign of hacking. However, hackers can disable this light, so it’s not the only indicator.

For further information on keeping your webcam secure, and for computer virus removal Cairns businesses and residents can rely on, get in touch with Computerman IT. Our computer troubleshooting Cairns-based can give you piece of mind.