Last updated: July 8, 2022
Among the advantages of laptops is the possibility of being able to have a webcam, which allows us to chat and share quickly through messaging and video software.
The problem is that like any part of your computer, this webcam, it can quite simply be hacked and you are then filmed without your knowledge, which we will admit is not really pleasant.
In this article, we will see together 4 techniques for easily detect if your webcam has been hacked. Then we will give you some tips on how to get rid of this malware simply.
Check if your webcam is hacked
The first thing we want to look at is the means of check if your webcam has been hacked if you ever have any doubts. For that, we will present three different techniques to you.
1) Check if the indicator light comes on
The first thing you are advised to do if you ever come across a webcam that you suspect has been hacked is to check if the indicator light comes on. In fact, this indicator light means that it is in operation.
However, if it lights up after you haven't asked for anything, it's a potential sign that a pirate is filming you. Be careful, this is not a foolproof test either. Indeed, the light may not come on, but your camera is still filming. A named program iSeeYou lets do it all very cleanly.
2) Check your browser extensions
One of the important points is to watch when your camera turns on and if it is when you open a web page, we advise you to take a tour in your extensions. Indeed, a virus could install itself as an extension and give access to your webcam to the hacker.
So check all the extensions present and do not hesitate to uninstall all those that seem suspicious to you.
To manage your extensions on Chrome:
- First, launch your Chrome browser.
- In the upper right corner, click More ⠇> More tools > Extensions.
- Look for a suspicious extension, then click Remove. Confirm the repair by clicking on OK.
Once it's done, open your browser and check that everything is back to normal.
3) Search for video documents
If a hacker has secretly spied on you, you might find video recordings saved in your computer. Indeed, these are necessarily recorded somewhere.
Watch in My videos or My documents if you ever have a folder for your webcam and then check if it contains video files. If so, you must have been hacked.
However, this technique is not foolproof, as some hackers can simply stream live to their devices whatever they can see through your webcam.
4) View Webcam startup and shutdown history in Windows 10
Finally, the last technique to allow you to check if you have been hacked into your webcam is to view the webcam usage history thanks to Windows Event Viewer.
Windows Event Viewer is a tool installed by default on Windows that records all kinds of things that happen on the computer. For each event, the Event Viewer records an entry.
The Event Viewer also records the webcam startup and shutdown history. You can use these times to find out if your webcam has been used without your knowledge.
To do this, follow these steps:
- In the Windows search bar, start typing: Event Viewer.
- In the section Summary of administration events, select Information.
- Then click on Show all instances of this event.
- Look for a time when you suspect this has happened. You could get a clue from the references to all connected / disconnected devices.
If you find a webcam launch event that you didn't complete then you must have been hacked.
In short, to check if you are a victim of this type of hacking, you must:
- Check if the webcam turns on by itself.
- See if ever a suspicious browser extension has been installed.
- Examine your folders to see if any video files of you are present.
- Check the start and stop of the webcam in the Windows event viewer
Get rid of the virus and avoid hacking your webcam
Now that we know for sure if there is a virus on your computer, we can move on to the next step of getting rid of this virus. If it is an extension, you can delete it as we saw before, but if it is not, here is the procedure.
1) Cover your webcam
The first thing to do will be to cover your webcam. Indeed, it can serve as a temporary solution, but it remains effective. If you are not using it, you might as well cover it to prevent the hacker from capturing images.
This does not exempt you from doing the second step that we will reveal to you just after, but if he sees that he does not pull anything, the hacker will inevitably drop the case after a while and move on to another victim. .
2) Start your antivirus software
The second solution that we will offer you is simply to run antivirus software. Indeed, normally, this one will detect the virus at the origin of your espionage and should in theory be able to defeat it.
In addition to your traditional antivirus, you can launch software specialized in this software called Malwarebytes, which will also be able to find the virus causing this problem.
If, despite your best efforts, the virus continues to be present, then you should consider doing a system restore to an earlier date when you are sure you were not infected.
3) Avoid public Wi-Fi networks
Public WiFi hotspots are extremely vulnerable to hacking. Hackers love people on free hotspots and try to slip viruses into their devices.
If you will ever need to connect to public Wifi, I advise you toinstall before a VPN to secure this Wi-Fi connection.
If we summarize, here is the procedure to follow:
- Hide your webcam.
- Uninstall the offending extension.
- Start an antivirus scan.
- Do a Malwarebytes scan.
- If the virus is still there, do a system restore.
- Install a VPN to protect yourself on public Wi-Fi.
Now you know what to look for find out if your webcam is hacked, then take appropriate measures to protect yourself and secure your computer.