Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Monday 14 June |
Saint of the Day: Bl. Francisa de Paula de Jesus Isabel
home iconLifestyle
line break icon

Does covering your webcam really prevent hackers from spying on you? (VIDEO)

WEBCAM

Shutterstock

Sophia Swinford - published on 11/29/17

The answer centers on whether it's safe to remove the tape.

A few years ago, a bunch of women I know suddenly started putting tape over their webcams when they weren’t using them. Seemingly out of nowhere, stories were breaking about women being spied on by hackers through their webcams and then being blackmailed for the footage. Now that the stories are getting less attention, some of them have removed the tape and joked about their previous “paranoia.” Others, though, have kept the DIY security for good measure.

But is it rational to be worried about this? If you’re an average person, not a famous actor or influential politician, do you really need to be worried? Short answer: yes.

In a 2013 interview with BBC, a hacker reported that he could gain access to a webcam for the price of $1, and that he now had access to about 500 different computers. According to Tod Beardsley, the research director of Rapid7, there are occasional bugs that allow a hacker to access the camera and record video. One of the most common ways this is achieved is when we enable location services; often, clicking the button that enables this feature also makes our devices vulnerable to these kinds of attacks.

Unfortunately, the only way to prevent this is to use a piece of tape.

But just because they can’t see you, doesn’t mean they can’t hear you. A piece of tape doesn’t block the microphone enough to prevent someone from recording conversations.

So, while using a piece of tape does prevent all too common webcam attacks, it prevents just a  small percentage of all potential attacks. You can find out more about cybersecurity in the video below:




Read more:
Chinese gov’t hackers regularly attack US targets, steal data

Tags:
Social MediaTechnology
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
SACRED HEART OF JESUS
Philip Kosloski
Miracle prayer to the Sacred Heart of Jesus
2
PADRE PIO
Philip Kosloski
Padre Pio’s favorite prayer of petition
3
RECONSTRUCTED CHRIST
Lucandrea Massaro
This 3D “carbon copy” of Jesus was created using the ...
4
PRAY
Philip Kosloski
Offer your heart to Jesus with this prayer
5
Eric Clapton, Luciano Pavarotti, East London Gospel Choir
J-P Mauro
Hear Clapton and Pavarotti sing a prayer to the “Holy Mothe...
6
Kathleen N. Hattrup
The short prayer Pope Francis says every night
7
SACRED HEART
Philip Kosloski
5 Things to know about the Sacred Heart feast
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.