You may have heard rumors in the past that people can spy on you via your own webcam, but maybe brushed it off in disbelief. Well, the Childnet International, a non-profit that aims to keep kids safe on the internet, wants everyone to know webcam spying is a real thing and it’s best to take precautions like covering up your webcam when not in use.
Time reports about Childnet International’s recent warning to parents to keep their webcams covered up and make sure your computer has anti-virus software to lower your chances of being hacked and spied on. Opening the wrong email or visiting certain websites can leave your computer vulnerable to contracting a Trojan virus that hackers use to take over your webcam.
Recently, the BBC reported about an entire industry where hackers buy and sell access to private webcams with the majority of them owned by women who are completely unaware they are being spied on. A young college student, Rachel Hyndman, describes how she realized she had become a victim of hackers. Hyndman sat in a bath watching a DVD in her computer when she noticed her webcam switched on. She explains, “I was sitting in the bath, trying to relax, and suddenly someone potentially has access to me in this incredibly private moment and it's horrifying. To have it happen to you without your consent is horribly violating.”
It’s important to talk to your kids about the dangers of visiting unknown websites and keep an eye on their online activities. It also doesn’t hurt to stick on a makeshift lens cover when the camera is not in use. Childnet Chief Executive Will Gardner advises, “Pointing your webcam at a wall or covering it up can be good practice.”
Were you aware that hackers could potentially take over your webcam and spy on you?
Do you currently take any precautions so that you and your kids are safe from the dangers of this type of crime?