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Big brother is watching you. Or not?

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Big brother is watching you. Or not?

Big brother is watching you. Or not?




A taped-up webcam is no surprise to anyone these days. It is covered to protect against intruders entering your personal space. Let's talk about the justification for such a move.

After the sensational photo of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg smiling in front of a laptop with the camera taped over, people began to mimic him en masse. Some users do so blindly following the trend, others suffer from a mild form of schizophrenia. There is a third group of conscientious people, but unfortunately not many.

How great the risk is

Cybercriminals can bypass users' OS protections, easily infiltrating the system in a matter of minutes. There are two types of attack: targeted and viral. For the first, attackers develop software that will infiltrate a particular user's computer. The second is uncontrolled malware that spreads unchecked and infects everything in its path. In both cases, hackers will often activate webcams and microphones to gain control of a user's computer.

If you think you are not of interest to attackers, you are mistaken. It is true that a targeted attack is orchestrated for very «serious» people, but these cases are isolated, but mass attacks are far from uncommon.

Webcam and dictaphone recordings are most often used for blackmail. Think about what is going on in front of your laptop screen and whether you want it to be published. Some careless users store important notes, passwords and logins near the monitor. People often have confidential conversations while sitting in front of their computers. All of this can fall prey to intruders.

What else would be taped

There are paranoiacs who use camera stickers not only for laptops, but also for smartphones and tablets. On the one hand, this is justified, as even iOS gets viruses, and Android even more so. However, it is worth bearing in mind that the phone, for the most part, lies in a pocket or with its screen facing the ceiling. It will be difficult to get interesting pictures from its camera. The microphone on such devices is a little «weaker», so smartphones and tablets are much less likely to be connected.

Who benefits from all this

The hype around device connectivity does not benefit hackers, but it does profit sellers of all sorts of plugs, overlays and stickers. Unfortunately, humanity learns nothing (and during the gold rush in America, gear retailers made many times more money than gold miners) and continues to blindly follow the trends.

What to do?

Security experts point out that it is much easier to «get» a person's background from social media. Users today post so many location-based photos and write so many compromising posts and comments that hackers don't even have to hack into pages and private conversations.

To ensure that your personal space is not invaded, start with a good quality, up-to-date anti-virus program. It will be the first and main obstacle in the way of criminals.

If you just tape up the camera but don't do anything else, attackers won't be too upset about not seeing your face when they transfer a tidy sum from your account, or copy your documents and photos to themselves.

Try to use licensed software, and keep yourself updated, especially on the security side. If you are a celebrity being hunted by journalists or competitors, you can, of course, tape your camera.



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