Billions urged to check webcams today – five signs you’ve been hacked and are being secretly watched
Cybercriminals have the technology to remotely access your webcam and the rest of your PC via malware you accidentally downloaded.
If this sounds like a Black Mirror episode – that’s because it is.
But hacking schemes are only getting more sophisticated – so here’s how to catch a cybercriminal before it’s too late.
What are the signs?
The first – and biggest – signal is whether the light on your webcam is on.
Most webcams on laptops and PCs will be accompanied by a small light that will flash when the webcam is in use.
If it turns on at odd times or without you intending to use your webcam, it’s likely that someone else is behind the lens.
Tech-savvy users have been advised to shut down all their active apps should this happen, just to ensure that apps running in the background don’t accidentally trigger the webcam.
The second sign is if the battery drains faster than usual, as this could mean a hacker has remote access to your device and is using it when you’re not.
The third marker is if you notice strange or unknown browser extensions.
Malware with remote access technology can sometimes be found in suspicious apps or browser extensions – which can give hackers remote access to devices.
Alternatively, it is not uncommon for a fake browser extension to open the webcam by accident.
The fourth sign is if your PC is using more internet data than usual.
A sudden increase in network traffic when you were offline may signal that someone else has access to your device.
Finally, if you come across some save files on your device that you don’t recognize – this is a huge red flag.
After a hacker captures footage via your webcam, they must save the video or audio on the same device before transferring it to their own.
This means that random looking files can appear out of nowhere.
If a hacker has webcam footage, they will likely use what was recorded as blackmail.
If you are concerned that a hacker may have infiltrated your device, download a reliable antivirus software.
And while your device is being cleaned, simply place a piece of tape over the webcam.
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