How to Check Your Laptop Camera – Is Someone Spying on You?
The fact that any mobile device today is equipped with a camera is, of course, very convenient. But few people think about the fact that they can be watched through this camera. And not everyone will like it.
If the camera is built-in, then the LED blinking next to it often “gives away” the fact that it is operating. The same “eye” is located on the device built into the monitor of a stationary PC.
Well… well, if so, and you suddenly noticed it. And if not, and the camera watching you right now? It can do it without blinking…
In the article, we will tell you how to check if someone is spying on you through a camera on a laptop or computer.
The protection guide from various online attacks is here.
There are a lot of options when a hacker (or government agency) can turn on the camera at a distance. This is usually done using two options:
- A Trojan program, and will be put together not only to broadcast the image from the camera. After all, the picture itself does not matter. Sometimes turning on the camera and subsequent recording goes together with a huge number of programs that allow a user to disable most of the Windows security features. A typical and most elementary example of such a Trojan is DarkComet-RAT.
- If in the first point, the hacker’s dexterity can come to naught thanks to the antivirus package, then there is no panacea from the meterpreter (or meter) — the antivirus does not isolate the open session of the meter. Among the services running there, the recording of screenshots from the screen or webcam can also be started.
Is the camera watching? How to check
If you have started reading and are now wondering “God, what have I just read?” then do not rush to close the article — just hang on because there is an age-old way to protect yourself from surveillance (Snowden does it, and Assange does it, and even Mark Zuckerberg.)
The first thing to do is to download a very good program called Process Explorer. It is very useful for those who are interested in the processes that occur in Windows, and it will allow you to track programs and services running in the system. With its help, it is easy to detect viruses or other rubbish that successfully disguises itself as popular processes. It is in English and does not require installation — a simple executive file.
But let’s go back and check who the camera is watching. Download the Process Explorer program from the Microsoft website in a zip archive.
Note: If you install something from the internet or any programs, download them only from official sites.
To check the details of your device (any device), you will need its full name. The Windows Device Manager will provide it. Computer (via Start) —> right mouse Properties —> Device Manager.
Now find the image processing devices. Expand the item —> and right-click Properties —> copy the device name in the Device Description tab.
Now we launch Process Explorer. It resembles the Windows Task Manager. On the left in the toolbar, find the icon with binoculars —> click on it and paste the copied device name —> click Search.
If you did not turn on the camera, the program will not find a single process associated with the device (if the program does not want to show itself, of course, it will not show itself).
- If the camera is working, then check each of the processes that are currently running with the camera. If the processes are not familiar to you, check everything. This can be done without leaving the program. Right-click on each of the processes and select Search Online in the context menu.
If something has alerted you, kill the process using the two buttons above, starting with Kill. See what happens to the performance of the camera and the camera software. If nothing has happened, it’s an option to think about the fact that someone else knows what your face looks like in front of the monitor. And the fact that the camera is watching you, consider it already a proven fact.
- To correctly identify your camera among other computer and laptop devices, you will need its full name in the equipment list. No one will tell you this better than Windows Manager. Click WIN+R, and type the command devmgmt.msc.
Copy the name from the Details tab under Device Description and enter it in the open Process Explorer search window (CTRL+F). You know how to proceed. Let’s check and make sure.
How to prevent it
We’ll tell you a secret — a well-hidden Trojan will hide the “process” so that no one will notice it anymore. Therefore, make sure that the infection does not have a chance to get into the computer in the first place. If you don’t have a good antivirus package, your computer is open for surveillance. Not every “hacker” can bypass antivirus protection, and sometimes even protection at the level of Defender from Windows 10 will stop them. Few professionals will encroach on your camera. And there is nothing to do without antivirus on the network at all. The problem is sometimes that hackers often have quite specific titles and positions.
There is one possibility to protect yourself — disable the camera. Turn it on only for the duration of each session. Is it a built-in camera? The BIOS probably has the option to disable the camera from there. Move from the word camera in the CMOS settings. Use this.
The easiest way to protect yourself from surveillance
If you are still feeling paranoid, take a piece of opaque tape and cover the camera. Does that sound funny? If you are a fan of just playing computer games, then very much.
But Zuckerberg and Assange are doing just that. Snowden confirmed back in 2013 that a separate Trojan was developed against the owners of iPhones and Blackberry owns to turn on the camera.
Read more about the story of Wikileaks and Assange here.
If the use of medical tape is “mauvais tone” for you, technical stickers and caps in the manner of a slider began to appear and gain popularity in digital stores. Fashionable, stylish, youthful, and most importantly…safe!