Most of us don’t realize just how easy and common it is for hackers to infiltrate our devices through our web camera or microphone – and in today’s world, we are using these elements more than ever as we attempt to connect with family or colleagues working remotely. After all, if even Mark Zuckerberg is cautious enough to tape over his microphone and webcam, that certainly seems to indicate we should all be giving ourselves more protection!
Yet the sticky-tape approach does not provide a long-term solution. It can damage your camera completely – and let’s be honest, it isn’t 100% fool-proof to constantly be reapplying the frayed ends! What you actually need is cutting-edge, up-to-date software that will protect against invasion through your camera or microphone. Read on for more information detailing how hackers can gain access to your system, what the possible consequences might be, and how you can prevent it from happening.
A common way hackers gain access to these devices is through a remote-access trojan (RAT). RATs are essentially malware programs that leave a back door open for remote access.
They typically enable administrative control, meaning a hacker can do just about whatever they would like to do on your system. RATs are usually invisible and accompany the download of a program like a game or an attachment from an email.
Something else to be aware of: remote tech support scammers are also on the rise, as they can easily gain access to your camera or microphone once you contact them for online support. They can then enter your system and plant malware to gain access to your webcam.
Microphone and Camera Hijacking
As soon as a hacker takes control of these systems, they can cause irreparable damage. For example, a cybercriminal might use your device’s mic to capture sounds from its environment or use your microphone as a way to transmit and receive data.
‘Camfecting’ leads to an invasion of privacy, with the hacker being able to spy on the owner, using the webcam to record whatever is in the line of sight, and theoretically gain footage that could be used for extortion. And it’s not just a laptop camera that can be hijacked – the Internet of Things spectrum of connectivity means all kinds of devices are susceptible, as evidenced by the hacking of a baby monitor.
All these factors leave your devices susceptible to spying and puts your sensitive information at risk.
In order to mitigate potential attacks, we strongly recommend practicing safe browsing habits:
- Never click on suspicious links or open strange email attachments.
- Always create strong unique passwords.
- Use web applications when possible instead of downloading programs onto your hard drive.
- Making sure your software is patched and updated helps protect against hackers accessing your device through security vulnerabilities.
Once you realize just how easy it is for someone to access these parts of your computer, the need to boost your cybersecurity definitely becomes more pressing. Ultimately, there’s no substitute for having dedicated antivirus software to stop hackers from spying on you and invading your privacy.
ReasonLabs’ RAV Premium cybersecurity package protects against these and other everyday occurrences that we often don’t think twice about. RAV Endpoint Protection will block access to the camera from unauthorized applications, employ anti-phishing scanning technology and generate anti-fraud protection.
For more information on downloading this premium software, visit www.reasonlabs.com.