Having a webcam built into your laptop is great. It means you do not have to buy and install a separate webcam, plus you can easily do all those things that require a webcam, like Skype a friend overseas. However, hackers can also tap into your laptop and webcam, even when you do not have it on.
No "permission" window will pop up either, making this "peeping Tom" crime even scarier. You can buy a camera shield that easily prevents this issue. Additionally, here are four more cybercrimes hackers can commit when they hack into your camera.
1. Record Your Intimate Moments and Market It as Porn
If your laptop is in your bedroom, and you leave it open with no camera shield, hackers can record your most intimate moments. They can then market it as porn, which is ultimately humiliating when people recognize you on the street. It could also destroy your career, if you have a career that forbids the recording and sale of pornographic images and video yourself.
2. Steal Credit and Debit Card Information
The webcam can see the three-digit code on the backs of credit and debit cards. It will also reveal to hackers your card numbers on the fronts of the cards when you flip the cards over to read the three-digit CVV numbers. If you wear glasses, then a hacker takes a still shot using your own webcam, reverses the image and enlarges it, and then reads your credit or debit card numbers off of the webcam picture of the reflection of the cards on your glasses.
3. Stalk You
Cyber-stalking via webcam is not that difficult to do. A hacker could "friend" you on social media or see your name and picture. Then he/she searches to find your laptop's IP address. From there, all the hacker would have to do is remotely turn on your camera and watch you whenever he/she likes.
4. Steal Proprietary Information
If your laptop is also your work laptop, you have to be extra careful. Hackers hacking into your webcam on a work laptop can steal proprietary information from your company or your employer's company. This would make you look like the thief, and that would be especially bad. If a hacker is really good at this, you could go to jail for crimes of theft and/or embezzlement, or possibly even fraud, when you did nothing else but leave your webcam uncovered.