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Our technology blogs feature IT tips and best practices for businesses in Columbia, Baltimore, Bel Air and in and about Maryland since 2002.

Tip of the Week: Stop the Spying Webcam

Tip of the Week: Stop the Spying Webcam

Have you ever been using your computer and you realize the operational indicator light next to your webcam is activated, only to realize that you never closed the video conference you were just on? Well, what would happen if you noticed it and you didn’t have that software up and running? If you are not an exhibitionist, it would likely freak you out to know that someone might be looking at you as you use your computer. Today, we will get into what to do to ensure that you aren’t being spied on through your webcam.

#1 - Update All Software

Of course, the best way to be sure that you aren’t being spied on is to update any software that has access to your webcam. You may just find out that there are some surprising pieces of software on your computer or phone that you’ve given access to your webcam. When you keep your software up to date you keep it from having vulnerabilities that hackers can exploit. Keeping the OS you are using updated is the most important.

On a PC, you will want to go to your Settings app and click on Update & Security. On the next page select Windows Update and select Change active hours to tell Microsoft when is the best time to update your Windows OS.

#2 - Keep Your Firewall Updated and Running

You will want to do your best to keep entities out of your personal network just like the technicians at Dresner Group do for your business. One of the best ways is to keep an up-to-date firewall. Here’s how to turn your firewall on:

Go to your Settings app in Windows and click on Update & Security. In the left sidebar click on Firewall & network protection. Once the menu opens, toggle Windows Defender Firewall. Now your firewall is on and will help you keep threats off your network. 

#3 - Make Sure Your Wi-Fi is Secure

People looking to get into your network (or spy on you through your webcam) may target your wireless router instead of your actual computer. If they get in, they can access a lot of things... including your webcam.  This means you need to beef up your router security.

First, rename your wireless network. Rename it something that isn’t easily associated with you and make sure to make a strong password. We recommend a string of at least three random words with no association to one another and replace some letters with numbers and symbols, and change the case. Make it so you can remember it (because anyone that comes to your house will want access to it), but make it secure enough that it is a strong impediment to unauthorized access. 

#4 - Cover Your Webcam

The most pragmatic (and admittedly simplest) way of avoiding the gaze of someone over a hacked webcam is to ensure that when it is not in use that it is covered. If your webcam is covered, any creep or hacker on the other end won’t see a thing.

Keeping your privacy in mind is always a solid practice. If you are looking for more tips and tricks on how to keep your data safe and your accounts private, return to our blog each week.

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