Wired Wednesday: Is Your Computer Spying On You?

Tech expert Will Bushee outlines how to avoid creeper video feeds and hacking attempts

Can someone turn on your computer’s webcam without you knowing it? Absolutely, according to tech expert, Will Bushee.

All web browsers, including those on your phone, can enable the camera and microphone just by going to a webpage. While on a malicious site, they may be able to see you and hear you without you knowing it. How is this possible? We discuss the situation in this week’s edition of Wired Wednesday.

Bushee advises you understand that web browsers can be used for video conferencing without the need to download anything. “The browsers know this is a huge security problem, so they have plenty of warnings and confirmations for the users,” he says. However, if you don’t know what you are agreeing to, or if the site has found a bug in the browser to skip the notification, they can easily see you.

Malware or viruses can also secretly turn on these devices if your computer is infected, without you even using the computer.

How do we protect ourselves? Unfortunately, Bushee says this can be difficult since these cameras are often embedded into the laptops, monitors, tablets or other devices.

“You will see EVERY security expert have their webcam and microphone covered with a piece of tape. Make sure your computer and web browsers are up-to-date. The second you get the notification for an update, do the update. And make sure your browser is set up to notify you of any recording requests,” he adds.

Bushee is hosting another Hack Sioux Falls event in March, which teaches kids how to build their very own Simon Says game using arcade buttons and an Arduino microcontroller. If your children are interested, you can get $25 OFF the ticket price by using the code KDLT when you check out at http://hacksiouxfalls.com/

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