How to Tell if Your Webcam Has Been Hijacked

Getting your webcam hijacked means somebody else is accessing your webcam and turning it on without your knowledge. Aside from becoming a spy camera, your webcam’s hjacked operation also results to invasion of privacy, as you can be recorded on video or photo in compromised situations. One of the worst cases that may happen is that you find some scandalous photos and videos of you online.

Young men using webcam
Teens using a webcam
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Check your camera’s power or recording light. If you are not using the webcam and the light is turned on, this means that it is being used unknowingly by you or by somebody else. Check your computer's settings and any opened webcam or messenger application to see if you unintentionally allowed the webcam to remain on. If you have all the right settings or your personally configured settings suddenly change after a while, your computer is most likely hacked or suffering from a virus attack that may also result to a hijacked webcam.

Video conference camera, close-up
Closeup of a webcam
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Mid adult man adjusting a video conference camera on a computer monitor
Checking the computer and webcam
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Check your computer for any change in overall functionality, visual appearance or setting. For instance, if your computer or Internet browser suddenly runs slower than usual even if you did not download a large number of files and you did not install new programs, there is a possibility that your system is hacked or infected by a virus. A Trojan horse infection is one of the most common causes of a hijacked webcam. A change in your Internet browser’s homepage or any preferences or file information may also suggest that your computer is being hacked.

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Virus protection software on the store shelf in 2010
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Run an updated anti-virus software and a spyware detection software to check the security of your computer. Aside from viruses, a spyware may be installed without your knowledge. This makes it possible for your computer and its peripherals, such as the webcam, to be accessed without your knowledge.

'Power on' button on laptop, close up
Laptop power button
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Close all running applications in your computer or reboot your computer, then check your Task Manager. If you see any running files that are not supposed to be there, especially because you did not open any application, your computer may be hacked and your webcam may possibly be affected. You can search on the names of the running files in the Internet to know more about them. You may also seek professional help if you have a reason to believe that your computer is hacked, has a virus unseen by your anti-virus program or a spyware undetected by your spyware program.