What’s the one thing we’re relying on more than ever before, thanks to a pandemic? Our webcams. They’re everywhere. The desktop you’ve set up in your living room. The laptop you carry with you from room to room. Even your smart devices have the ability to connect you to a world beyond what you see in front of you.
That also makes you vulnerable.
Today’s households have on average 11 connected devices, with that number expected to grow exponentially with the rollout of 5G. Our homes are getting smarter right before our eyes. We bring multiple computers into our homes for work and school. We have smartphones and tablets for everyone in the family. Home security cameras and smart TVs have a built-in camera for facial recognition. Now add in the remote video doorbell you just installed, the drone you bought your daughter for Christmas, and the video baby monitor in the nursery. Connection is everywhere.
If a device is turned off, the webcam can’t be activated. However, most devices are allowed to hibernate instead of being turned off. Security cameras and toys are available 24/7. That means if a hacker accesses your webcam, they can see everything in the room 24 hours of the day.
For now, reports haven’t revealed this as a huge problem. Yet how do we know? If the camera light isn’t activated, and a hacker makes no connection with you, do you know you’ve been compromised?
If top tech gurus like Mark Zuckerberg use tape to cover up their webcams, isn’t it something we all should consider too?
So what do hackers do when they record you? Probably the most common action is to use captured data for a phishing scam.
The hacker contacts you saying they’ve recorded you in precarious situations. They send you an email stating they will release it to family and friends if you don’t pay up. They may demand payment in Bitcoin.
Don’t pay. Don’t do anything. Delete the message. It’s a scam. Even if they scare you with personal knowledge, such as a password you’ve used on an account.
Consider this your message to change out your passwords, and strengthen your security a little bit more.
Webcams aren’t going away. Yet, we can be more vigilant in how we use them.
What is your security position inside your working environment?
For IT Strategy, Cloud Conversion, or Help Desk Services reach out to us at Silver Linings Technology 360-450-4759.