Cover that Webcam, Before you’re a Star!

Webcams, are a subject that I have covered before with friends and family. This is an opportune time to share some of my knowledge, with blogging friends. While they are a great tool in visiting one another during this worldwide shelter-in-place, they can be an embarrassment, perhaps even a danger without the proper precautions. Remember, once somethings out there on the Internet, it’s out there forever.

Why should I be worried

During this time of boredom, you will have kids home from school, others that no longer have to work and have a lot of time on their hands. Some will entertain themselves with video games. Some, will entertain themselves with the sport of hacking into your devices. Most of the time, it is just to see if they can accomplish the exercise of gaining control of something they aren’t supposed to. Thrill of the game type of thing.

Your security is important

Most webcams are plug and play. This is nice for those of us that don’t care for complication in setting up devices. Most, if not all webcams, come preconfigured with “default” user and password settings. They can range from user=admin or simply user=user. Then we have the password. They can generally on the simple side from the factory. Password=password, or Password=(nothing, blank).

If for whatever reason you don’t take the time to change those items of security, then someone may be watching your baby cam, or your home, or seeing whatever the webcam on your desk, or built into your laptop can see. There may be moments, that might be embarrassing. If you do opt to change your password, make it a decent one. There’s no guarantee this will happen to you, but erring on the side of caution is best.

They can do that?

When I bring this subject of webcam security up (which by the way I’m no expert at), the first question is usually,”They can do that? How”. Without getting into the technical geek speak, the method is out there. With Google, you can find “anything”. There are other research types of search engines, that are not generally used by the normal public. These can be used to search for certain “strings” that have to do with webcams that have admin, and password set to default.

]There are the websites that do auto searches using these search engines and compile lists for people who would like to see the world. Some webcams are purposely set, so hotels, or venues can share their beauty or location. These search engines, also find other webcams that have factory set passwords and list them.

Examples for you to see.

There is a site called insecam. While it says that all cameras are filtered as having no password set, or requested to be added to the directory, there have been some spotted that obviously were from laptops and home webcams. Now, there are cameras of birds, aquatic life, locations of beauty, all of them have one thing in common. No password set.

Things to do.

  1. First and foremost, set a password for your webcam, if it is connected to the Internet. If you use it for security, or perhaps video conferencing then it has access to the Internet.
  2. Purchase or make a cover for your webcam. It can be as simple as a post-it note, or piece of frosted scotch tape, or one purchased from online.

This is where I keep my webcam for my desktop. Pointing away toward a wall, when not in use. I use a small piece of post-it or opaque scotch tape for my laptop and tablet (Yes, I’m cheap). If you have questions, or more tips to help others secure their webcams, please share them with everyone.

Comments always welcome,

11 thoughts on “Cover that Webcam, Before you’re a Star!

  1. I don’t have a webcam on my PC. There is a camera on my tablet of course, but that device is mainly used for reading, so the view would be of my face. Likewise my phone, which is always turned over when not in use, giving a view of nothing, or the ceiling.
    The full power of being able to access webcams/laptop cams is shown to great effect in the film ‘Snowden’, about the American NSA whistleblower.
    Anyone who doubts the ability of the SIS/GCHQ/NSA/CIA to track out every move and action should really watch that film.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    1. I sometimes use my office / man cave as my changing room. I’m extra careful for that reason, and I don’t want the mental scarring of someone else on my mind. 🙂

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