5 Easy Webcam Security Tips (How Proxies Can Help)
There are very few things as creepy as the idea of being watched without your knowledge. And, considering the fact that there are cameras all around us, built into various devices we use daily – phones, tablets, laptops, and even some TVs – the possibility of being spied on is now higher than it has ever been.
A recent report by Wizcase showed that over 15, 000 supposedly private webcams were readily accessible to the public. Many of these cameras were inside people’s homes and, due to low webcam security, anyone with an internet connection could potentially view and even manipulate them.
Being exposed like this is a pretty scary notion. There are, however, many things you can do to improve your webcam security and protect your privacy in our not-so-private world. In this article, we’ll walk you through some easy ways you can go about this e.g. using webcam proxies for location protection. If there is something, in particular, that you are looking for, you can simply scroll through the table of contents to find it.
Why is Webcam Security Important?
The device you are using to read this right now probably has a front-facing camera built into or attached to it. Keeping such a camera secured is important for several reasons:
Prevent invasion of privacy:
Our laptops, tablets, and phones have become integral parts of our lives that follow us into the most private of spaces. This potential of being exposed during our most private and vulnerable moments is one of the main reasons why webcam hacking can be pretty devastating. Private information captured through these cameras can be used – and, has been used in the past – to take advantage of people.
If that not bad enough, once hacked, a webcam becomes a risk to the device that contains it and to other devices connected to it via the internet. Cybercriminals can use a hacked webcam as an initial portal of entry to introduce more malware into your device and get access to personal information such as financial details.
Using a secure webcam network connection can give you the freedom to interact with people online and remain anonymous – in a certain sense. For instance, proxies allow you to practice location switching. So, by securing your webcam with a proxy, you can live stream a video from one location but it would look like you are actually located somewhere completely different. This ability to remain anonymous can come in pretty handy if you need to make your voice heard in an area where certain kinds of content are restricted. More on this later!
5 Easy Ways to Protect Your Webcam (How a Webcam Proxy can Help)
From sending phishing emails to exploiting vulnerabilities in out-of-date software, there are several ways hackers can get access to your webcam. Fortunately, there are also several ways to fight back and shield yourself. Here are a few of them:
1. Unplug or disable your webcam when it is not in use
If you are using an external webcam – one that works by being plugged into your computer’s USB port – you can protect yourself from being spied on with a simple flick of your wrist. Make it a habit of always disconnecting such an external webcam from your computer when it’s not in use. If your webcam is inbuilt, you’ll have to deactivate it. This is also quite simple to do. Just go to your device’s settings, find the section dedicated to your camera, turn it off and deny all applications access to it.
2. Cover it up
If going through the hassle of unplugging or disabling your webcam is not for you, you can use a bit of tape or a sticker to cover it up when it’s not in use. This might sound ridiculous but even Mark Zuckerberg uses this simple but effective technique to ensure that, in the event that his webcam is hacked, the hackers cannot see anything. You can also purchase a webcam cover instead of using tape to avoid getting that sticky residue on your device.
3. Resist the temptation of unsafe links
Cybercriminals sometimes use the tactic of tricking you to install malware by disguising them as legitimate software. Through this malware, they can gain access to your webcam and other devices. The simplest way to avoid this is to always be suspicious while you are online. Do not click on any link or download any file coming from someone you do not know or trust. Even when you do receive links from people that you trust but it looks like something is not right, get in touch with the person to confirm that it’s legitimate.
4. Install security software and keep it up to date
Use security software such as Avast and Bitdefender. They can protect your computer from malware and, in general, keep it safe. But to take it a step further, the latest versions of these tools have webcam security software dedicated to securing your device’s webcam. Speaking of which, keeping your security software up to date is one of the best ways to protect your webcam from being hacked.
Out-of-date software are not equipped with the tools to combat the latest techniques bad actors have come up with and are, therefore, vulnerable to being hacked. Apart from security software, you should also make sure that all software on your device including your operating system and web browsers remain up to date. The older a software is, the higher the probability that someone has figured out a way to hack it.
5. Use a Webcam Security Proxy
One of the ways hackers can get access to your webcam is via a wireless connection, especially an unsecured one. To avoid this and give yourself an extra layer of protection whenever you use your webcam for online activity, consider using a proxy.
Every device that connects to the internet has something referred to as an IP address. An IP address is a unique set of numbers and letters that serves to identify a device and also give the general location of that device whenever it connects to the internet.
When you use a proxy, all interactions between your device and the websites you connect to are done via a proxy IP address. So, proxies mask your device’s IP address, keeping this sensitive detail hidden and safe from the claws of hackers. In simple terms, they give you a safer, more secure experience whenever you use your webcam online e.g. during a Zoom meeting. It gets even better! When you use a proxy for webcam protection, you get a whole bunch of other benefits. Some are:
Higher network speeds:
Whether you are using your webcam to chat with your loved ones or attend meetings online, with a good proxy, you gain access to higher network speeds that will make the entire process smoother and more enjoyable.
While maintaining your privacy online can seem like an impossible task at times, proxies make it achievable. As mentioned above, with a proxy, you can put your face on the internet but still keep sensitive information such as your location private.
How to Set Up Webcam proxies
Setting up a proxy is usually a very easy process but it differs with each provider. Generally, you just need to follow the instructions given to you by your service provider. One thing you are definitely going to have to do when you set up is choosing the type of proxy IP address you would like to use. There are three main types:
1. Dedicated proxies
As the name implies, a dedicated proxy belongs only to you. Once you purchase this proxy IP address, it is yours and yours alone for whatever duration you paid for. Not only does this mean fast network speeds, but since it’s dedicated to only you, you don’t have to worry about other people doing shady things with the IP address and getting it banned.
2. Semi-dedicated proxies
These kinds of proxy IP addresses are shared by a few users at the same time. This means that you get to cut down on cost but at the price of less peace of mind. You can never be too sure of what the other users are getting up to. Plus, the fact that others are using the same IP address might slow down network speeds. With a proxy provider that has your best interests at heart, however, these negative possibilities are usually obliterated. At BlazingSEO, for instance, we work hard to ensure that every single person using our semi-dedicated proxies enjoys them.
3. Rotating proxies
If you are looking for the highest level of anonymity, rotating proxies are your best option. These proxy IP addresses will be switched out ever so often, making it next to impossible to track you and pinpoint your exact location. If you are looking to spoof your location during a live stream, this is a great way to go.
Finding the Best Proxies for your Webcam
The only way to reap the benefits listed above is by finding a good proxy service provider to provide you with a high-quality proxy that supports webcams.
There are lots of free proxies out there, but their mode of operation tends to beat the whole purpose of using proxies in the first place. Because, most of the time, many people use free proxy IP addresses at once, they usually have annoyingly slow network speeds. For the same reason, free proxies are vulnerable to being hacked by bad actors using the IP address.
Paid providers are quite honestly the best way to go. But, to make sure you are getting your money’s worth, here are a few things to look out for:
- Guaranteed fast network speed: a good provider should be able to guarantee fast network speeds to make your experience with proxies as smooth as possible.
- Several IP address locations: You should be spoiled for choice when it comes to IP address locations. The best proxy providers have IP addresses located all over the globe.
- Around-the-clock customer service: The majority of good proxy providers have 24/7 customer service to ensure that whenever their customers encounter problems or have questions, a solution or an answer is provided as soon as possible.
With proxies that operate at a speed of 1GBS, thousands of proxy IP addresses available in up to 22 countries around the globe, and top-notch 24/7 customer service, BlazingSEO ticks all of the above boxes. On top of all that, we offer competitive prices, unlimited bandwidth and we can confidently assure you of security because we have end-to-end control of our hardware.
In a time of limitless possibilities of digital connection, webcams have given us a way to connect with and behold the visages of our loved ones and colleagues. Without proper protection, however, total strangers can get access to your webcam feed and watch your most private moments. Using the tips listed above, you can drastically improve your webcam security and protect yourself from the wiles of hackers.
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