How to protect my webcam from being hacked

Updated: 01/24/2018 by Computer Hope
Computer security

A webcam is a great device with many uses, such as video chat and videoconferencing. Unfortunately, as with many tech devices, it can be exploited. In this case, hackers could see whatever your webcam can view without your knowledge or permission. While any one of the following techniques can be effective, the more security, the better. We'd recommend viewing them all, and then selecting those that will best suit your needs.

Quick fixes

Sometimes, the best solutions are the simplest. These few suggestions don't actually keep someone from accessing your webcam, but they block them from viewing what it captures nonetheless.

  • Cover your camera - An action as basic as covering your webcam with a piece of tape or a Post-it note can stop unauthorized viewing.
  • Assume your camera is on constantly - You can assume your camera is always on and conduct yourself in front of your webcam accordingly.

Software options

Run anti-malware software

One of the most common methods hackers use to take control of your webcam is a process called clickjacking. This process requires the use of malware, therefore, using an anti-malware program can keep you safe. We recommend downloading the free trial of Malwarebytes because it is one of the best and most effective anti-malware programs available. After the free trial, it's $39.99 for a year subscription, providing you with all the premium features and excellent malware protection.

Use a firewall

Another great software tool is a firewall. While some seasoned hackers can bypass a firewall, its protection should be sufficient against the general public. There are firewalls built into every version of Windows since Windows XP, so make sure they are enabled.

Firmware update

Like any other hardware device, webcams utilize firmware. Keeping your firmware up-to-date is a significant step in ensuring your webcam is vulnerability free. These updates are nearly always free of charge. To view and download firmware updates, visit the website of your webcam manufacturer.