It may be hard to believe, but somebody can be watching your kids, even without their realizing. Nowadays, the computer with a low level of security can open a door into your kid` life to a malicious hacker. Once a hacker has watched a kid for a long time, the chances that they will try to blackmail them with something they’ve seen are very high. So how you can tell if your kid`s webcam is hacked? And what should you do to protect your kid online?
How do you know if someone is watching your kid through computer?
Camfecting (a portmanteau of the words camera and infecting) is an attempt to hack into the webcam of the other person and put it into the action without the owner permission. After that, it may be used to observe anything within the webcam`s field of vision (the owner, daily life). Mostly, the victim’s computer is infecting with the virus that gives and access to the webcam to a malicious hacker.
Commonly, a webcam hacker sends his victim an innocent-looking attachment or link, which have a hidden Trojan software which allows controlling the victim’s webcam. Afterward, this virus silently installs itself when the victim uses a webcam. Once installed, a camfecter can turn it on and capture photos and videos of his victim. It functions as the original webcam software. The difference is that instead of webcam`s owner it is controlled by the hacker.
- A middle-aged man from Cyprus was arrested for hacking a teenage girl webcam with the purpose to capture a compromising picture in her bedroom. Afterward, he threatened her and demanded to stay naked in front of the camera.
- The American teenager was pleaded guilty to hacking over 150 women with invasive malware in order to obtain their nude photos and videos.
- A 23-year old student was caught installing dodgy malware to spy on unsuspecting women;
How to tell if your kid`s laptop camera has been hacked?
In most cases, it can be very difficult to figure out that your kid`s webcam has been hacked. Here is the list of signs that tells that your kid`s laptop camera has been compromised:
- Strange noise
In case you hear weird noises from your kid`s webcam, there are no doubts that their webcam was hacked and somebody is spying them through it.
- Weird rotation
If you noticed that your kid`s webcam is following their movements, it is more likely that it has been hacked.
- LED light
The next obvious sign that a webcam has been hacked is the activation of the blinking LED light. If the LED light is turned on when your kid doesn`t use a webcam, it also means that it was compromised.
- Check security settings
It is necessary to check if your kid`s security settings have been changed or the password has been set to default. Besides, you need to pay attention to sudden spikes in your network traffic.
- Short battery life
If your computer starts using the battery a lot quicker, it may be the other sign of dangerous virus or malware.
How to secure webcam of your child?
For every parent, the security of their kid is priceless. Here is the list of safety tips, which will help to secure webcam of your kid:
- Install antivirus
Install reliable antivirus software, which will help you to detect if there is any malware or any virus on your kid`s computer.
- Turn on the firewall
By default, all the computers connected to the home network should be already secured by a firewall, which monitors network traffic and blocks unrequested incoming connections. To protect webcam of your kid and check if the firewall is turned on follow these:
- Windows: Tap on the Windows logo on the bottom left screen corner and after look for a firewall to check settings.
- MAC: Open the system preferences. Then click on the sharing icon, select firewall and press start.
- Secure Wi-Fi
Wi-Fi networks can be a soft spot you might have overlooked. Create a strong, reliable password and change it frequently to prevent decryption.
- Think before clicking
Hackers are very inventive, and in most cases, they lure kids into installing hazardous RAT (Remote Access Trojan) through bright pictures, links or email attachments. To secure webcam of your kid, teach them never open the emails, attachments, and links sent by the people they don`t know.
- Stay away from any tech support offer
Quite often hackers may contact a kid or send a pop-up to inform that there is a problem with their computer or so. Besides, they may convince your kid to use remote-access software to solve their computer problem. To protect webcam of your kid, teach them do not trust anyone who offers this kind of support.
- Block remote access
Disable both Windows Remote Assistance and Remote Desktop to prevent hackers from accessing your kid`s computer.
- Close kid`s webcam
The other way to protect webcam of your kid is to put a sticker or a piece of tape on it. It will help to protect your kid`s privacy and give you peace of mind.
- Use Kidgy
Kidgy is the best low-cost cyber nanny, that may help you to get your kid`s online activities in your own hands. In case your kid spends a lot of time online, and you worry that they can come across hackers or other evildoers, you may easily restrict their Internet usage with Kidgy. Besides, you can also monitor your kid`s calls and text messages, GPS location and block unwanted apps, etc.
The online world is scary for kids. Parents tend to keep a watchful eye on their kid`s texts, calls and browsing history. But there is the other more crucial problem – the webcam hacking. However, as a parent, you can take the precautionary measures to minimize the risks and to secure webcam of your child.