Can People Look Through Your Webcam Without You Knowing?

Your computer's webcam allows you to make video calls to friends on the other side of the globe, but these same cameras can also be used for nefarious purposes by hackers. If you aren't careful, someone could use your webcam to spy on you.

Webcam Spying

The webcam is a device that is designed to capture your image and transmit it to someone else through the Internet. While services such as Skype require your webcam to function, the camera could also be utilized without your knowledge. Under certain circumstances, hackers can tap into your webcam and watch you. This is a major violation of privacy.

How Access Is Gained

If a hacker wants to use your webcam, he could gain access to your computer through a virus. According to Tech Radar, simply forgetting to update to the latest version of Adobe Acrobat could cause you to download a virus when you open a PDF file. When this happens, the hacker can use that file to gain control of your computer. A hackers could turn on your webcam at any time or listen to the audio from your computer microphone.

Camera Light

Even if a hacker accesses your webcam, the webcam must be turned on to transmit an image. If you're worried about someone seeing you through your camera, check to see if the camera light is on. Even laptops with built-in webcams have a light that comes on when the webcam is activated.


If you are concerned about the possibility of someone spying on you through a webcam, use common sense to minimize the problem. If you have a webcam mounted on your laptop, turn it so it is not pointing at anything important when you are not using it. Some webcams come with covers that go over the lens; if your webcam came with a cover, use it. If you rarely use a built-in webcam, cover the lens with a tiny piece of black tape. Activate a firewall and purchase an anti-virus software program. If you take precautions, it is unlikely your webcam will be hacked.