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How to Tell if Your Webcam is Hacked

is your webcam hacked


Hacking into someone’s webcam, or in simple words, “Camfecting”, is getting more common day by day. What happens is that the hacker uses the webcam on your PC to retrieve your private data. He can then use this data for all sorts of nefarious purposes.

To make sure your PC never falls prey to Camfecting, you should have a high-quality anti-malware software installed on your PC. Regardless of this, it is also mandatory for your security that you are aware when your webcam has been hacked into.

Below, you will find a variety of ways through which you can test your webcam and tell if your webcam is hacked.

Is My Webcam Hacked? Things That You Need to Look Into!

Check the Light Near Your Webcam

There’s a small LED light near your PC’s webcam which serves as an indicator that your webcam is active.

If you notice this light flashing now and then, or even glowing steadily, it most probably hints that your webcam is under the control of an external party and that party is using it to invade your privacy (unless you are using the webcam yourself).

Whenever you see this happening, quickly check the settings of all the opened apps to make sure that they are not responsible for the activation of your webcam. Try restarting your PC and if the problem persists, then you know something fishy is going on.

In case that your webcam’s indicator is faulty, remember to get it fixed as soon as possible because otherwise, you won’t get any noticeable clue that your webcam is accessed by someone else. Make no mistake, even the best webcams (such as those for streaming content) can be hacked.

Check Video Files in Your Hard Drive

Even if the hackers get remote control access to your webcam without you knowing, one thing they might not have access to is your hard drive.

If you’re not sure why your webcam is behaving strangely, just head into the folder of webcam recorded files and check to see if there’s any recorded video that you didn’t consent to.

The hackers are likely to give these recorded videos unusual names so notice if anything seems out of place.

Also, the hackers might have hacked into the settings of your webcam and changed the videos folder so be sure to check all the video files on your computer before you consider yourself safe.

Check Your Webcam’s Security Settings

Another way of checking whether your webcam is being hacked or not is by navigating to the security settings of your webcam software.

See if there’s anything suspicious at all; any unknown apps granted permission, any passwords recently changed or removed etc.

Furthermore, if you have an antivirus with the webcam security feature, go and see whether it’s enabled or not. If you find it to be disabled, then, unless you’ve done it yourself, there’s something wrong because this feature is enabled by default.

Also, you should make it your practice to check your windows security and firewall settings from time to time. If you see these settings disabled and you don’t remember doing that, there’s a good chance that a malware has affected your PC.

Run an Antivirus Scan

Most of the good antivirus software nowadays can detect any kind of malware or suspicious files on your PC. So, if you do possess such an antivirus, go ahead and run a manual scan.

In the scan report, check to see if any malware detected is related to your webcam. It will usually resemble the word RAT. If you do see any such threat, it means that your webcam is under an attack.

RAT is installed by webcam malware to gain access to your webcam. In the past, notorious malware attacks like Blackshades, Rbot-GR, Mirai, and InvisiMole were based on this tactic.

Regardless of what you found, remove everything declared as a threat in the scan.

Check Browser Extensions and Add-Ons

Some extensions and add-ons in internet browsers also have a tendency to use your webcam. So, if you experience something odd with your webcam while browsing, take a pause, close your browser and restart your PC.

Once your computer is up and running, launch your internet browser. If the light indicator near your webcam starts glowing as soon as you do that, then it’s the telltale sign that some extension or add-on in that browser is causing that.

Check for Unknown Applications

Many of the apps that you download contain viruses. These viruses find a way to slip into your PC and take over your webcam.

As a result, when you try to launch your webcam, the message that pops up reads that the webcam is already in use.

To find out whether the application using your webcam is an unknown one containing malware or not, track down all the applications in your computer that are using your webcam and you’ll be able to find the answer you’re looking for.

Following any of the methods above, whether your webcam turned out to be hacked or not, you need to take some serious countermeasures to make sure that your webcam is protected from any attacks in the future.

About author

A finance major with a passion for all things tech, Uneeb loves to write about everything from hardware to games (his favorite genre being FPS). When not writing, he can be seen in his natural habitat reading, studying investments, or watching Formula 1.
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