Today, there are a growing number of hacking reports in the world in a more invasive and more intimidating way. Now the privacy of known and unknown users is being compromised with today’s inevitable technology that uses webcams. The attack on privacy via webcams has been experienced by many celebrities in recent years. Hackers take private photos and data which they then publish publicly online. Every person is potentially exposed to such attacks. Data hacking is attractive for a number of reasons. Perhaps an individual is not exposed to this type of attack as a large corporation or bank. They are first on the list because of the ability of attackers to reap great financial benefits. There are a lot of attackers who deal with this for other reasons (for example hobbies) or do not yet have enough knowledge to attack the banking system. Nowadays, e-banking is a common occurrence in almost all countries of the world and therefore caution is never enough. It sounds scary that strangers read emails to us. Or, that an unknown person is watching us in the privacy and intimacy of our home. Although they would put the more frequent choice of attackers in the first place – the use of a webcam. Private photos and videos often end up on the internet black market. The targets are mostly women. The attackers address the women on the forums as “slaves” and exchange them to access computers or sell stolen recordings, photographs and videos. Attackers sell photos and often compromised computers. They are literally selling access to that attacked webcam.
Victims of hacker attacks can be any person. The danger lurks on computers, laptops and a whole series of devices that belong to the “Internet of Things” coin (smart refrigerators, televisions, home routers). Sophisticated hacking tools can be easily purchased online. And start using it all over the world right away. No one is immune, especially not countries with weaker economic stability, which do not have sufficiently developed protection mechanisms. Quincy Larson, the founder of the Free Code programming camp, once said that we should all take some time to protect data from potential attackers who, Quincy said, could be hackers, a corporation or a government.
The easiest ways to protect yourself online regardless of access
Larson suggested the easiest ways to protect the Internet regardless of access (from a computer or tablet).
- Change codes frequently. The best practice is to keep all the codes on a piece of paper and in a safe location. The codes should be changed every 2 weeks.
- Every user whenever they have the opportunity should protect themselves through two-step authentication. This means that every new login to a service or account will be verified via an SMS message that you receive on your mobile phone. This security two-step is most important to include in the email account because the user logs in to all services and accounts via email.
- Webcams are the biggest danger. You are exposed to direct spying via webcams. It records where a person is, who they are with, and what the person is doing. Therefore, cover webcams with opaque adhesive tape. Or you can use specialized plastic buttons that will be added for this type of protection.
- It is advisable not to keep webcams in bedrooms. Protect your Wi-Fi network.
- Do not communicate with strangers via instant messaging.
- Be careful who you call for any help with your computer.
- When not using the webcam, disconnect it from the USB port. Remember, one of today’s most famous whistleblowers, Edward Snowden, exposed the NSA’s “Optic Nerve” operation, in which they collected images via webcams from anonymous and randomly selected Yahoo users. In just 6 months, photos of 1.8 million Yahoo users were collected.