How to Secure Your Webcam on a Laptop

secure webcam laptop

A home is where you feel safe and care for your loved ones. It is where you are also most vulnerable. Now, imagine your privacy being breached through a device that’s always in your home? With the advancement of technology, devices connected to the internet are like a gateway to your privacy.

There is a possibility that you are being watched presently through your webcam. Again, imagine hackers watching you through your webcam without turning on your indicator light.  

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This might sound like a hoax but it’s a very real possibility, but you don’t have to worry. In this article, we’ll show you how to protect your webcam from hackers.

1. Tape or Unplug it

If you’re using a USB external webcam, unplugging it from your laptop can help prevent hackers from snooping on you.

 

On the other hand, you can also adopt the old trick of using tape to cover your webcam. That also works effectively. Use a piece of paper and a sellotape to cover up the webcam. You can also double-check by viewing your webcam recording on your laptop to verify if it is opaque.

2. Disable Your Webcam

If you are not planning to use your webcam anytime soon, you can simply disable it. Though it might not stop a proper hack, it may prevent malware from taking control of your webcam.

The easiest way to disable your webcam (on a Windows computer) is from the Device Manager. Use the built-in search bar on your laptop to locate and launch the Device Manager.

secure webcam laptop windows

The device manager holds every piece of hardware connected to your laptop. Once launched, locate your webcam in the Cameras or Imaging devices section.

secure webcam laptop

Then you can right-click on the camera and disable the webcam, Windows will ask you for confirmation; click Yes to proceed. You may need to restart the computer afterward for the command to take effect.

3. Use an Anti-Malware Software With Real-Time Protection

Be sure to have good antivirus software installed on your laptop. A good anti-malware scans for the latest malware and helps protect your laptop generally from hackers.

Malwarebytes, ESET, and Bitdefender are great examples of third-party software that offer anti-malware protection. Use them to perform regular scans of your computer and they might reveal malware trying to hack your webcam.

Stay Safe and Protected

So far you are using a strong and secure antivirus with real-time monitoring, you should be fine. Asides from webcam hacks, a keylogger attack is another form of privacy infiltration–i.e. when a computer program secretly spies on the keys you tap. Refer to this guide to protect yourself from keylogger attacks.