No matter how many times you read about it on the web, there’s always a fresh new moment of uneasiness when you see someone mention that software can take over your webcam without you knowing about it. That’s right, malware, hackers or even government agencies like the NSA can take control of the webcam on your computer and spy on you without your knowledge.
It’s a terrifying invasion of privacy, but it turns out there are a few simple things you can do to prevent it.
First, there are a couple of low-tech options you should know about. Covering your webcam with tape is obviously the easiest and cheapest way to go. Then, there are nifty covers like the ones offered by soomz.io, which stick to your laptop or smartphone and include a piece that slides over the cam when you want to block it.
Those with Windows machines looking for a software solution to combat the ever-present threat of webcam takeovers will be interested to learn about a piece of software called Who Stalks My Cam.
As the name suggests, Who Stalks My Cam is designed to do two things. First, it alerts users when an application activates their webcams and shows which application is currently accessing the camera. Second, it can block access to the camera on command or only allow programs on a whitelist to turn the camera on.
And best of all, perhaps, is the fact that it’s free.
“Who Stalks My Cam first detects and alerts you about the threat to your activities and conversations,” Phrozen Software, the developer behind the app, said on its website. “This it does when you run it in your system to perform the assignment. Not only does it detect the problem; It offers a solution and undertakes to fix the problem.”
The site continues, “For example, if a spy program is detected, there is a possibility of the programs webcam being closed, stopping it from spying on you altogether. Apart from disabling and blocking the webcam of the spy software, the program is also able to get in the way any spy processes of the program, disabling or diverting them so that your data, activities and conversations remain secure.”
GHacks has a nice writeup on Who Stalks My Cam that you should check out for more information, or you can download the app by following the link below in our source section.