Know Risk is a community education program designed by the Australian and New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance (ANZIIF) to improve our understanding of insurance and how it relates to managing the many risks we all face in life.
Five tips to protect yourself from webcam hackers
Almost every home computer has a webcam these days - from home PCs, laptops and even televisions. And now, clever hackers have developed ways to use that technology to see into our homes.
According to experts, webcam hacking is much more sophisticated than normal hacking, despite not being as common. Andy Walker, tech expert and author from cyberwalker.com says that “because things are so simple to use, we have been lulled into a false sense of security.”
“These days, hackers can get in and switch off the webcam's activity light, so that there is no visual trace of them activating the camera.”
While the event of this is unlikely, there are a few simple things you can do to protect yourself:
- Make sure you install the webcam properly – Make sure you turn on the security features when you first install the camera. Most new products generally come with security features turned off by default.
- Password protect – Once the webcam is set up, make sure you set up a good password on your computer, one that is at least eight characters long with a mix of symbols and upper and lower case letters.
- Upgrade! – Keeping your software and operating system up-to-date is very important as each update will generally be more secure than the one before it.
- Anti-virus - It is most important that you make sure you have working and up-to-date anti-virus and firewall programs.
- Block it out – If, after you have a secure network you still feel nervous about peeping toms, the solution can be as easy as covering the lens with a Post-it note.