From Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg to former FBI Director James Comey, physically covering a laptop’s webcam has become the norm. That’s because hackers can tap webcams to peep inside your private life for extortion, or just because they just can.
Hackers wielding RAT (Remote Access Trojan) malware can use crafted pictures, documents and media files to trick users into downloading and installing the webcam-spying malware, letting them remotely enable or disable the webcam. Some seemingly legitimate applications may also have webcam-tapping capabilities that users are unaware of.
Teenagers are more likely to click on links and execute email attachments from strangers, making them more likely targets of Peeping Toms and cyber predators. Considering that children with both a smartphone and a computer spend up to five hours a day on devices, parents should keep an eye out for their activities and make sure they don’t chat with strangers, don’t download webcam-manipulating software, or visit emotionally damaging websites.
Do I Have to Cover My Webcam?
With Bitdefender 2018, we’ve introduced a new Webcam Protection feature that prevents any unauthorized software from tapping into your webcam. Since malware is obviously detected and removed by our security engines, there are instances where seemingly legitimate software might want to abuse access to your webcam.
Webcam Protection notifies you whenever a new application tries to tap into your camera, so that you’re always in control over who sees you. And, even if you’re covering the lens, the attacker can still hear you, since webcams have microphones built in. With the Bitdefender 2018 Webcam Protection feature, that won’t occur, since access to the webcam will be completely blocked to any unknown application.
Can Kids be Safe Online?
Recent reports released by Europol reveal that children as young as 7 years of age are targeted online for webcam blackmail and extortion. Consequently, parents need to protect their children from online predators, both when using PCs and mobile devices. The Parental Advisor module bundled with Bitdefender 2018 enables parents not only see if their children are engaging in conversations with unknown people, but also monitor access to emotionally damaging websites.
Designed as a tool for helping parents understand their children’s better – and consequently boosting communication between them – the Parental Advisor concept encourages parents to openly engage in sensitive topics that children usually look up online instead of talking to parents about. It also helps kids stay away from shady websites and content that could have a significant emotional impact.
Based on a child’s age, Parental Advisor will automatically choose the best privacy features for the child. Of course, parents can dive in and fine-tune the settings, such as adding domains to be restricted or setting up curfew hours.
All that and more is available in Bitdefender 2018, so that you can Do Your Thing, Protected!