Recently I was working with my accountant and I noticed he had a piece of electrical tape covering his laptop’s WebCam. This wasn’t the first time I noticed someone covering up the camera on their laptop with tape or a sticky note. I was curious: did he know something I didn’t? So I asked him: “Are you worried someone might be watching your boring accounting stuff?” He told me that he had seen it on a client’s computer years ago. “I don’t really use it anyway, so why give people an opportunity to spy on me?” After my interaction with the CPA I decided to check the validity of this security concern with our Fidelis IT gurus. If my WebCam presents a security concern, a piece of tape wouldn’t be a good solution for me since I use Skype for Business frequently as a big part of our internal collaboration.
Can someone spy on me through my WebCam?
Yes! If the computer is connected to the Internet or a network, the computer’s functions can be controlled by outsiders if you are not properly protected.
What are some possible motives for even trying to gain access to my WebCam?
There isn’t a lot of financial gain for hackers to perform this feat unless they catch you doing something really naughty and decide to blackmail you.
Most of these types of attacks happened from people we know or work with, for varying motives: extortion, blackmail, stalking and other perverted reasons, gathering inside information to name a few.
“Experienced hackers can access a webcam in less than a minute and can even turn off the light which shows the webcam is on,” said Parham Eftekhari, President and Founder of CamPatch Webcam Covers. “Webcam hackers are the ‘Peeping Toms’ of today, and this problem is only going to get worse.” – Network World
How do they gain control over my camera?
There are several means by which hackers have gained access to people’s WebCams. The most common is through the use of Trojan Horse malware. This malicious code is often hidden in small files that are in email attachments or website cookies. Once downloaded, it will do its thing and give the wrongdoers backdoor controls of your devices.
How can I prevent hackers from spying on me?
Fidelis recommends good, better and best solutions to help prevent these types of nasty problems. Our Good/Better/Best solutions are provided to help your organization choose your best solution based upon your budget and other business drivers. We are always available to consult with you to determine the optimum solution for you. Click here to see the Good/Better/Best options we suggest:
As Fidelis has deployed our own Best solutions, I confidently enjoy the flexibility of jumping on Skype meetings at any time without scraping electrical tape residue off my WebCam.
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