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Secure your webcam and microphone from hackers

How to secure your webcam

Webcams are great for video chatting with distant friends or watching your house while you're away on vacation. Unfortunately, they're great for hackers too.

Hackers can slip data and finance-stealing viruses onto your computer. Why not a virus that can take control of your webcam?

Even scarier, some webcams don't require any hacking! They broadcast an unsecured signal that anyone can find.

The easiest way to stop people from watching you on your webcam is to cover it with a piece of tape, or sticky-note. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was even spotted using this technique last year.

However, if you don't want to pin all of your hopes of privacy on a piece of tape, there are more thorough ways of disabling webcams. Here are some ways to secure your webcam:

Adjust Windows 10 setting

For a simple way of securing a webcam, you can adjust settings in Windows 10. You can choose which apps are able to access the webcam or even block them all from using it.

To make these changes, open Settings >> select Privacy >> select Camera. At the top of the page, you will see the option to let apps use my camera, toggle the slider to the left to turn camera access off for all apps.

Or you can give camera access to each app individually. You can allow access when you know you are going to use the app and turn access off when you're not using it.

Webcam protection software

It's difficult to know when you are secretly being watched. You need to protect yourself from hackers that want to snoop on your every move.

One way to stay protected is with security software. A webcam protector is an option from Norton that helps keep spy software from your computer. It is designed to protect your vulnerable audio and video ports.

Most antivirus companies offer this type of webcam protection. Go to the website of your antivirus company and do a search for webcam protection to find out what is available.

Disable your webcam

Whether you are using a Mac, Windows laptop, or a touch-screen all-in-one desktop PC, it more than likely came with an integrated, or built-in, webcam. Disabling these webcams is a pretty simple process.

Click here for detailed steps on disabling both integrated and USB connected webcams, for both macOS and Windows.

You can also click here to watch a quick video on disabling webcams.

Note: If you are reading this article on the Komando.com App, click here to watch the video on disabling webcams.

Bonus tip: For an in-depth look at how hackers are watching your every move, listen to our podcast:

More tips you can't miss:

Ridiculously simple security settings your IT guy wishes you knew

6 essential steps to secure your smartphone or tablet

3 ways to cut down on spam email

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