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Know when malware or spies turn your webcam or mic on with this free download

Know when malware or spies turn your webcam or mic on with this free download
© Trong Nguyen | Dreamstime

Cybersecurity is a hot topic. Several very high-profile ransomware hacks have been in the news, as they infect individuals and private industries around the country. The latest ransomware attack spread across Russia, Ukraine, Turkey and Bulgaria, crippling multiple news organizations and transportation systems. It was Russian ransomware called Bad Rabbit.

Whether you work for the NSA or you’re just an individual concerned about privacy, you should be taking steps to prevent nefarious actors from infiltrating your computer systems.

One of the most insidious types of malware targets your computer's microphones and cameras, recording what you say and what you see. So how do you stop it?  This is where OverSight comes in.

Protect yourself from being spied on

There are several known malware attacks that target the camera and microphone functions of a Mac computer. Known attacks such as OSX/FruitFly, OSX/Crisis, OSX/Mokes, and others, all attempt to spy on Mac users using these methods. OverSight keeps a vigilant watch on the camera and mic functions of your Mac alerting you whenever the built-in microphone or camera is accessed. 

By accessing a computer's microphones and cameras, hackers are awarded an open window into your life. They can spy on you at any time, without warning, recording your personal and professional footage. This information can be used in a variety of ways, but commonly, images and conversations from an individual's private life are held at ransom, and subsequently released online to the world if the ransom is not met.

Once the OverSight application has been installed it will appear at the top of the screen as a small umbrella icon. Even though the application will start up with the computer, it is always useful to see this icon and verify that protection is engaged. Clicking on this icon will bring up a menu of options:

When an application attempts to access your microphones or camera, OverSight will prompt you with a message like this:

Using the OverSight tool you can constantly monitor which applications can activate your microphones and cameras, and prevent malicious hackers from eavesdropping on your conversations or spying on your life. 

With the OverSight tool, users can also whitelist certain common applications. Doing this allows the application to automatically access your microphones or cameras without prompting you every time. Do this for applications that you trust and may use frequently.

OverSight differs from other similar applications for a few reasons:

OverSight is able to identify which applications are accessing your microphones and cameras and you can allow or block each one.

OverSight can detect secondary "consumer" processes that may be piggy-backing off a legitimate webcam session in order to stealthily record the user without detection.

And lastly, OverSight is completely free.

Click here to check out OverSight for yourself.

Bonus: For PC users curious about which applications have access to your webcam, you can easily check them yourself. Go to Windows/Settings/Privacy and Camera to see a list of which programs can access your webcam.

Don't overlook these crucial Mac security tips

In the modern information era, your own personal cybersecurity should always be top-of-mind. For that, we put together a brief list of security tips that you should definitely know about. Use these tools and keep your cyber information secure.

For more useful security tips for Mac users, click here to learn these important tips.

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