When you talk about one of the good pieces of technology, then talk about the webcam. Sadly, like most other sophisticated technological innovations, they can be abused or twisted to do the things they were not meant for. It is true they are great for performing online interviews, keeping in touch with a long-distance relationship, chatting with friends and many more. But a hacked webcam can become a spy tool that can be used by hackers for their own exploits.
During the past few years, there have been various ways used in hacking a webcam, but the standard or general procedure is to look for a security vulnerability. This can be from the software that controls the webcam or directly from the hardware. After the webcam security has been compromised, it is used by the hacker in such a way that the user is not alerted.
A popular technique used for the hacking of webcams is known as Clickjacking; this is the manipulation of the website rendering so that the flash permission prompt becomes invincible. An invisible prompt is then placed over likely to-be-clicked sections such as the Play button on a video. The victim is cajoled to think all they are doing is watching a video, but they are indirectly giving permission to a Flash app to start taking pictures.
How VPN Can Prevent Your Webcam security from Being Hacked?
An online security professional will always tell you that the best way to stay protected on the internet and prevent your system webcam from being hacked is by using a VPN (virtual private network).
The Chief executive; David Gorodyansky of AnchorFree (a company in Mountain View, California, that makes VPN software called Hotspot Shied for the average user) describes VPN as a virtual private network. He also added that it is a connection made between a secure server on the user’s computer through which the internet can be accessed.
A VPN can be imagined as a security alarm in your house that goes off when there is an intruder. This is the working principle of a VPN. Hackers can spy or launch an attack on you through your IP address which gives away your location. A VPN makes sure your connection is encrypted by hiding your real IP address. Your geographical location is replaced with a fake IP address from an entirely different location choosing from its network servers.
This will make it impossible for hackers to trace your location and therefore hack into your webcam. Even if they eventually overcome your VPN, you will be alerted by the VPN of any suspicious activity. A VPN can secure your web sessions, give you access to unlimited contents on the web including contents from blocked websites and services as well as help you perform financial transactions securely.
“People are largely unaware of the risk involved when browsing the internet without some kind or protection, sometimes they mistakenly think that their antivirus software protects them while browsing,” said Gorodyansky. Internet security awareness needs to be raised, and ensure that people connect with a VPN to increase their protection he added.
A Client VPNs allow him/her to connect to a central location through a mobile device or computer, once the connection is authenticated, they clients gets full access to the main location’s infrastructure. VPNs are used by remote offices to securely connect to the main location as this will encrypt all the traffic through a VPN tunnel.
The good thing about VPNs is that they are not just for laptops, they can be installed on all handheld devices such as smartphones, IPads, tablets and gaming consoles. This is because it has been found that majority of users spend more time on the internet from their handheld devices and lesser when compared to the time they spent on the internet through their PCs. Additionally, VPNs are more user-friendly, they don’t require complex installation processes.
Don’t get nervous, even though it is possible for your webcam security to be hacked, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it will get hacked. It is also never a bad habit to be very cautious of the dangers that are lurking around your cams and equip yourself with the right VPNs.