Worried about your kids’ webcam use? You have every right to be

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Laptops, smartphones and tablets – you can hardly find a connected device without a camera these days. Thanks to technological advances, it now doesn’t matter if your friend lives down the street or on the other side of the world, a webcam lets you have an (almost) face-to-face chat anytime.

Video calls, selfies, vlogging, and the little lenses in our phones and computers make staying in touch as easy as it gets, a freedom especially enjoyed by kids and teens. But it’s not just human relationships that benefit from this technology – crooks have quickly taken advantage of what are essentially spying devices that are conveniently placed on their victims’ tables or carried in their pockets every day.

And just like that, what might have seemed paranoid in the past is proving to be perfectly reasonable today – when Mark Zuckerberg got photographed with his laptop in the background and his webcam was taped over, no one thought he was overreacting.

Unfortunately, caution is seen as a way to treat webcams for good reason, as any connected device is vulnerable to being controlled by attackers. Using malicious code, crooks can hack into a targeted device and hijack its camera or microphone.

In such a way, attackers can turn the camera on and off without the victims’ knowledge, spying on the most intimate aspects of their lives. The motivations vary – some find the very idea of secretly watching someone exciting, others are aiming to extort money from victims. If the victim doesn’t do or pay what their spies demand, videos or pictures of them get posted online.

Surely the concept alone sends chills down your spine – now imagine such attackers taking advantage of your kids. What can you do to keep them safe?

  1. Teach your children to cover up their webcam every time they‘re not using it – in that way it becomes useless for crooks.
  1. Make sure that the default setting of your children’s webcams is “off“.
  1. Use a reliable up-to-date internet security solution capable of protecting webcams.
  2. Teach your kids not to locate webcams anywhere where they might give away sensitive information about themselves, their home or belongings.
  3. Educate your kids to not do anything in front of an uncovered webcam that they wouldn’t do if someone was watching.
  1. Set a good example to your kids by applying the same standards to yourself and to all webcams in your household.

Read more at www.saferkidsonline.info

 


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