Why do people cover their laptop cameras? If you have seen laptop owners doing this, it may have left you a little perplexed. Indeed a laptop camera is a good thing to have? This guide will provide you with the answer to this question and why you should cover up your laptop camera.
These days, you need to be very security conscious and take all of the steps to protect your privacy. You are not paranoid if you cover up your laptop camera. Unfortunately, applications are available known as “creepware” that allow others to spy on you through your laptop camera.
Why Do People Cover Their Laptop Camera?
There are some very clever cybercriminals around these days. Also, there are “creepy” people that will take great pleasure from spying on you if they have the opportunity. You may think that this is very unlikely to happen to you, but a growing number of these incidents occur these days.
If a cybercriminal gains access to your laptop camera, then they can record what you are doing. A lot of laptop cameras have LEDs that illuminate when the camera is switched on, but hackers have ways to disable this so that you will never know that you are being spied upon.
Imagine a cybercriminal having embarrassing footage that they could publish on social media. You could find yourself on the end of a ransom demand to stop them from publishing the footage. Today’s cybercriminals will stop at nothing to make a few bucks.
Then some people just enjoy spying on people. They can use “creepware” to do this, and the person will never know. This is something that you want to avoid at all costs. Simply covering your laptop camera with tape will prevent this.
There are viruses and malware out there that contain these “creepware” applications. If this malware gets past your anti-virus software, then it will install itself on your laptop without your knowledge. Someone can then use this for malicious reasons to spy on you and your family through your laptop camera.
Now you know why some laptop owners choose to cover their camera up with a piece of tape. This will not harm the camera and provides additional privacy. In the next section of this guide, we’ll provide you with a number of reasons why you should do the same thing.
Why you should Cover Up your Webcam
Imagine how you would feel if you knew that a total stranger, located anywhere in the world, could see what your laptop camera sees. It would not be a good feeling, would it? What you do in the privacy of your own home should always be private and not on show for the world to see.
If you are a woman, then you should cover up your laptop camera. Although cybercriminals and creeps will spy on both sexes if they can, women are always more vulnerable than men. In 2011, a man was prosecuted for spying on over 100 females of different ages using the cameras in their laptops.
Did you know that the FBI cover their laptop cameras? Well, they do, and if it is good enough for the FBI, then it is good enough for you. The director of the FBI covers his camera, and so do nearly all of the other FBI personnel. Other government agencies are following this lead as well to protect their privacy.
If the advice of the FBI is not enough for you, you should know that the founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, covers up his laptop camera as well. He is well aware of the potential threats that are out there with others spying on him.
Not only that, but prominent academics also recommend covering your laptop camera. Leading academics state that cybercriminals using laptop cameras to spy on unsuspecting people is increasing all of the time. In studies, they found that cybercriminals would sell access to hacked laptop cameras on the “Dark Web” to people in this market.
Tech experts also agree that you should cover your laptop camera. They are aware of the increase in “spy” type hacking and advise everyone to take precautions. Young women are often the target of these malicious hackers, they said.
There is a ton of evidence that hacking and cybercriminal activity is on the increase. Many companies are trying to tackle this with endpoint detection systems, but it seems that whatever they do, the hackers find a way around any solutions. A determined hacker will access your laptop camera if that is what they want to do.
As soon as a hacker has access to your laptop, they can use all kinds of tools to spy on you. It is easy for them to use administration tools remotely to locate your laptop camera and use it against you. Most people will never know that this is happening to them.
If you are the kind of person who likes to walk around your home naked, you need to ensure that nobody is watching you. By covering your laptop camera, you are removing an obvious route into your privacy. You then have the peace of mind to do anything you want without worrying about being spied upon.
You do not want to be the target of a cybercriminal. They can demand ridiculously high amounts of money if they have some “dirt” on you. Spying on you through your laptop camera and recording what is going on can result in a hacker ending up with some really embarrassing footage of you that they can blackmail you over or sell on the Dark Web.
If a cybercriminal shows you that they have a compromising video of you, what are you going to do? You can call the police, and they will investigate, but this does not always solve the problem. Hiring a lawyer to sort everything out for you will be an expensive thing to do for sure.
Are you prepared to pay a lawyer hundreds of dollars an hour to try and find the cybercriminal? There is no guarantee that they will be able to do this no matter how good they are. Hiring a qualified private investigator will not be a cheap option either. Just cover up your laptop camera.
It will cost you next to nothing to cover up your laptop camera. Most people have a roll of electrical tape at home, and all you need to do is to cut off a small piece and put it over your laptop camera. You can also go for a fancier option than this if you want by purchasing a laptop camera cover which looks really cool.
We are using our laptops more than ever these days, so it makes sense to do all that you can to protect your privacy. There are always threats of email phishing, and social media account hacking. So why add the possibility of being spied upon through your laptop camera to the list of things to be concerned about?
What could Happen if your Webcam is Vulnerable
You need to know that there are vulnerabilities with webcams. While it is a handy feature to have a built-in laptop camera so that you can use it for video calls with your family and friends, it is also very vulnerable to attacks from experienced hackers.
Cybercriminals know how to access a built-in laptop camera, and they can do this very easily once they have malware on your machine. They can gain full control of your laptop camera and ensure that the LED does not illuminate when they are using it to spy on you. If you have a cover over your laptop camera, they will not see anything.
Wireless webcams are a popular option these days. They connect to your laptop using wireless technology which avoids the need to use cables. This sounds great, but it means that the wireless webcam will have its own IP address to connect with your laptop. If a hacker finds this IP address and figures out your password, they will have full access.
How to Improve Webcam Privacy and Security
Covering up your laptop camera is an excellent first step to take but this does not stop a cybercriminal from using the microphone in your machine to listen to and record your conversations, for example. There are other steps that you can take to improve the privacy and security of your laptop webcam.
Get the best anti-virus and Malware Software
You probably already have anti-virus software on your laptop but is it good enough? Will it provide you with the protection that you need against malicious viruses and malware? Some anti-virus applications are very good at stopping viruses on your laptop but not so good about preventing harmful malware.
Cybercriminals know this and will use malware to gain access to your laptop. If your ant-virus is not preventing this then you are vulnerable. You should get the best anti-virus/malware software for your laptop.
Update your Operating System and Applications
Some laptop users will disable Windows updates for a variety of reasons. This is not something that we recommend you do. Updates for operating systems and applications such as web browsers are there for your protection so take advantage of them.
Never click on Suspicious Looking links
The Internet is all about links. If you open an email and see a link inside that looks suspicious, do not click on it. Go back to the sender of the email if you know them and ask them to verify that the link is OK.
Many hackers use fake emails from well-known banks and other companies to trick people into clicking on phishing links. If you fall for this then you could end up with some very nasty malware on your laptop and your camera in the hands of cybercriminals.
Wireless Webcam Password
If you have purchased a wireless webcam, a default password is likely in place to protect it. Hackers can easily find these default passwords, so be sure to change the password of your wireless webcam to something extremely difficult to crack.
Keep your Firewall Running
A firewall will protect you from malicious traffic on the Internet. Sometimes, a firewall is enough to prevent a hacker from taking control of your laptop, so make sure that it is running all of the time.
You need to protect yourself and your family at all times. Now that you know why people cover their laptop camera, so you can do the same. Explain why you are doing this to your family members so they will not remove the cover unless using the camera for a legitimate reason.