Avast Blog

Are cybercriminals spying on you? Here’s how to stop them.

Written by Dawn Leonetti | 4 October 2017

It has gotten so easy to hack a webcam that simple online tutorials are available for anyone who does a basic Google search. Forget the dark web, this is all out in the open and you, unfortunately, are the star! Webcam hacking has become so prevalent that even Mark Zuckerberg and James Comey, experts in the realms of web culture and security respectively, keep tape over their own webcams, showing the world they are firm believers of “better safe than sorry.” Yikes.  

Now, maybe you are one of the millions who are torn on this issue. You certainly don’t want anyone spying on you or your children, but you don’t want to disable your webcam because you use it on occasion to video chat with your family. Hackers are now smart enough to turn on the webcam without triggering the camera notification light—so chances are you will never even notice. And perhaps you feel silly putting Post-its or tape over the lens because it makes you feel like you’re being too paranoid. You just want a simple way to block hackers while still being able to use your webcam on your own terms.

That simple fix is here—as of today, we now feature a technology called Webcam Shield in our premium cybersecurity package, Avast Premier.

Webcam Shield alerts you when your camera is being tapped by a possible unwanted intruder, so you can stop webcam-hijacking spies in their tracks. It also blocks untrusted apps, issuing a warning whenever something suspicious tries to connect to the camera. Go back to enjoying Skype and any other webcam app you trust, and feel confident that your privacy is back in your hands.

Webcam Shield gives you total control over your camera, enabling you to force all apps (even the safe ones) to ask your permission before accessing your webcam. Take that business call in bed, and don’t worry that anyone is seeing you in your pajamas—with Webcam Shield on “strict mode,” you can have the peace of mind that the webcam is not being used.

For the truly paranoid, you also have the option to “nuke” your webcam by disabling its Windows driver so nothing can use it. (But don’t worry, it can be easily reversed with a single click, for that video call with your favorite long distance friends.)

With all the uncertainty on the web today, we want to help you protect your privacy. Take back total control of your webcam. Prevent wannabe spies, hackers, and blackmailers from infiltrating your home. Our aim was to take the headache out of webcam security by developing a solution that is strong yet simple to use, and something that you don’t have to think about—it’s there automatically when you need it.

Back to the question at the top: Are cybercriminals really watching you? While we can’t tell you that they sure are, we CAN tell you that with Webcam Shield, they sure aren’t! Upgrade or buy Avast Premier today and experience Webcam Shield for yourself.