With the inherent risks that webcams pose, it would be wise to become educated on how to prevent a compromise from occurring. Here are some tips and recommendations to help with webcam safety.

  1. Use common sense (and dignity!) when within the scope of your webcam. Seems easy enough but it may be the hardest tip of them all for some users. For example, if you are acting or behaving in such a way in front of the webcam where you wouldn’t be comfortable with your parents or children or the whole world seeing: Please (in your own best interest!) consider your actions and/or words.
  2. Think about the location of your webcam. If you must use a web camera, it probably would not be prudent to have it placed in your bedroom or pointing towards a bathroom. Also, be careful that the background area isn’t exposing your location to potential online stalkers.
  3. Don’t open attachments from unknown sources or click on links embedded in emails or on social media sites. There is good reason for this suggestion. Despite many of the criminal advancements’ attackers use to proliferate malware, the use of spam email is still the #1 source for malware infections including spying software. (People keep clicking on them to open them!)
  4. Install strong anti-virus and security software and keep it up-to-date. Most antivirus/antimalware scanners are developed to actively detect and proactively prevent RATs and other forms of malware from penetrating a system.
  5. Keep your OS and other 3rd party software applications up-to-date.
  6. Download apps only from trusted sites (i.e. Google Play, Apple Store). However, even when downloading from these locations be sure to read through the reviews and verify the publisher of the app. Did you know? There is a growing trend of fake or malicious apps made available for download through Google Play.
  7. If you are using an external web camera, unplug it when it is not in use. Simply disabling is not enough, especially if someone has gained remote access to your system.
  8. Disable your built-in webcam when not in use/Cover It! As a reminder, if your system is compromised, your webcam can be re-enabled remotely. See all the points above. Best practice would be to place a piece of electrical tape (or something similar) over the camera.

Source: Ministry Tech


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