Webcams allow us to easily communicate with our family and friends, interview people from another corner of the world, and even do business.
Unfortunately, hackers can use the cameras integrated into our laptops and desktop computers to sneak into our own private world and capture highly sensitive images and videos. Spooky, isn’t it?
It’s not surprising to hear that people such as NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, FBI Director James Comey and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg all cover up their webcams to protect their privacy. The question is: should do the same? And what are our options to make our webcams more secure?
Bitdefender includes a webcam antispy which is designed to counter any cyber attacks which may involve your camera. Buy it now and secure your computer.
What is webcam malware?
There are various examples of webcam malware designed to specifically target webcams to allow hackers to keep an eye on their victims secretly. Among the best-known programs was Blackshades which is a remote access Trojan (RAT) that allows hackers to take control over the users’ webcams.
How to protect your webcam against hackers
- Cover it up — here are some of the best webcam covers can you can buy.
- Close your laptop or shut down your PC when you are not using it.
- Turn ON the Led notification light — some webcams come with LED notification lights that turn on when the camera is active. This makes it a lot easier to spot if someone is using the camera without your knowledge.
- Change the default admin and password if you are using a standalone webcam.
- Update your webcamera‘s firmware.
- Use firewalls — here are some of the best firewalls that you can use on Windows 10.
- Scan your PC regularly to detect and remove potential threats.
- Use specialized webcam protection software.
Here are the best webcam protection tools for PC
Spy Shelter Firewall (recommended)
Spy Shelter is currently the best anti-keylogger and web protection software. It can prevent custom or commercial keyloggers in real time keeping your computer safe and clean. As Spy Shelter does not rely on any of fingerprints database you will be safe from a ‘malware zero-day’. Spy shelter understands how malware works and does not rely on any of antivirus databases – it is clever enough.
No web scams or any other threat will put in danger your web camera usage. You can feel free to not physically cover it because it is not possible to have problems with that on Spy Shelter’s guard.
You will not feel any pressure on your PC resources while using because Spy Shelter is heavily optimized. You can do whatever you want – it will not slow down your system.
This software’s main usage is to monitor your live built-in default webcam on an authorized computer in real time. The tool also comes with a hardware webcam device disable button in the menu. You can also use the exit button to quit the Software app anytime, and the info menu item will show you software information about the app version number.
The software uses the Microsoft default webcam hardware Windows drivers, and it checks the webcam in streaming mode. It will also check if the webcam is enabled and you can disable it by using the button in the menu. The status bar will show if the hardware is safe or unsafe.
The compatible operating systems include Windows 7/8/10. You can download SecureWebcam for free from MajorGeeks.
This tool will prevent hackers and watchdogs from secretly watching, listening to you and recording your activity via your webcam and your built-in PC microphone. You can now protect your webcam privacy with just one click as the software offers you the possibility to prevent your webcam from hacking attempts coming from Internet predators, hackers and more. The tool will protect your vulnerable video and audio ports.
The compatible operating systems are Windows 98/Me/NT/2000/XP/2003/Vista/7/8. You can download Webcam Protector from Cnet.
Did you know that someone could be secretly watching you or your kid through your webcam as we speak? Is it worth taking such a risk? The software prevents sexual predators, hackers, and others from remotely controlling your webcam and watching you and your family without your consent. It protects your webcam, and it always warns you when it is in use.
The compatible operating systems are Windows 98/Me/NT/2000/XP/2003/Vista/Server 2008/7/8. You can download Safetized for free from Cnet.
It is imperative that you don’t freak out because even if there is a possibility that your webcam could get hacked, it doesn’t necessarily mean that this is going to happen. Since prevention is better than cure, don’t forget to install one of the software listed above to protect your webcam privacy.
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in September 2017 and has been since updated for freshness, and accuracy.