If you own a laptop and wondering “why is my laptop camera light on?”, then the chances are that your laptop might have been hacked. Cyber attacks and security theft is not something that is confined to your email ids or social media accounts.
Cyber attackers are coming up with more sophisticated ways to access your confidential information through your laptops and smartphones. Even if you are not active on Facebook, Instagram Twitter and other similar social media accounts, online hackers may still invade your confidential information.
With the help of Remote Access Technology a.k.a RAT, these hackers may hack your webcam and keep an eye on your day to day activities without even letting you know that your laptop has been hacked.
Although, there is no sure way to tell if your laptop has been hacked without using relevant tools and software including those that are made explicitly for viruses and malware, one quick way to check it is through the indicator light of your laptop’s webcam.
If the light gets automatically turned on even when you are not using your camera, then the chances are that your laptop has been hacked via its built-in webcam. In case you are still wondering whether your webcam is hacked nor not, read on to know more.
Uninstall your browser extensions
The simplest way to confirm if your webcam is hacked is by turning off your webcam and see if the light is still on or not. Moreover, if there is a browser extension or an app playing in another tab which has access to your laptop’s built-in camera, then the light will stay on until you manually close such apps or browser extensions.
To check if the problem is with any installed browser extensions, firstly close your browser and restart your system. If the camera light gets turned at once, then the problem is with the extension, and the only way to find out which extension is causing your webcam light to stay on is by uninstalling all installed extensions one by one until the light gets turned off.
Disable your laptop’s built in web cam
Malicious spying through webcam is a severe threat, and more advanced camera hacking tools are easily accessible, making it easy for hackers to use these kinds of malware and steal confidential information of people.
Nevertheless, it is recommended to disable the camera and protect personal data on your laptop. If you own a Windows laptop and the camera light is continuously turned on, then you can disable your laptop’s built-in webcam to turn off the light and check whether it has been hacked or not.
To disable a built-in webcam on your Windows 10 laptop, you need to go to Start and type in Device Manager in the search bar. Once the device manager dialogue box pops up, a list will appear featuring all of the hardware devices attached to your laptop. In the list, look for any term that refers to a webcam. Next right-click on it and select disable device. If you want, you can also uninstall the drivers completely from your system.
For some laptops, the system will reboot, and you need to wait for several minutes for the hardware change to take place. However, it solely depends on the model of your laptop that you are using. If you want, you can also disable your microphone along with your webcam using the same method. All you need to do is search for the microphone listed in the device manager window, right-click on it and disable it.
However, bear in mind that this method won’t work if a hacker has been able to get complete control over your laptop. In such a situation, he can turn the camera back on whenever he wants even if you have disabled the built-in webcam of your computer. However, in the majority of cases, the types of viruses and malware hackers use for webcams will search for webcam devices and try to turn them on.
A Remote Access Technology/Trojan is a malware that targets explicitly any imaging device such as a surveillance camera or a webcam and steals valuable information from it. At times, a hacker may use it to spy on the victim and monitor his day to day activities.
Although, the best way to prevent it is to keep your equipment updated with the latest anti-virus programs installed, however, if you feel that your webcam has been hacked, then the best way to confirm it is by checking for simple clues that the hacker may have left behind.
One of the most obvious examples is of the webcam light which remains on even when your webcam is not in use. The hacker may access your personal information and make it public or may threaten you to do so.
One of the most effective ways to get rid of RAT malware is to run periodic anti-virus scans on your system by using any reliable anti-malware software. Even if your webcam is not hacked, it is still a great way to prevent potential cyber-attacks and keep your equipment and personal information safe from online intrusion.
To wrap up
There are numerous ways through which you can prevent your webcam from getting hacked. Apart from using a VPN to hide your IP address from intruders, you can also follow some simple steps to protect your personal information online.
For all your online accounts and devices, including laptops and smartphones, make sure to use passwords that are hard to crack. Avoid using passwords that are simple to hack, such as your name, date of birth, digits of your phone number, etc. Similarly, avoid clicking on suspicious links and giveaway mails that you get in your spam folder.