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How hackers control your webcam

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Computer experts, armed with hacking skills and malicious intent, can manipulate the webcams of other people to spy on families or capture their private moments.

Sanjeev Nair, corporate communications manager of Kaspersky Lab, a cybersecurity company, says a laptop on the bed can take videos or pictures of the owner while taking a shower.

“Or if you are in the office, the webcam of your computer can take photos of documents hanging on your wall,” says Nair, during the media launching of Kaspersky Lab's security solutions in Makati City.

This is possible through spyware or malware used by hackers to remotely control the functions of someone else's personal computer or laptop and even mobile devices.
Spyware is a software used by hackers to gather computer users' personal data, including videos, without their consent.  Through spyware, hackers can also steal personal information and even financial data such as bank accounts.

The Consumer IT Security Risks Survey 2015 commissioned by Kaspersky Lab, a cybersecurity company, found that 49 percent of respondents do not trust their own webcams for fear that they may be used to spy on device owners.

Nair says 60 percent of respondents fear being spied over by own devices, including being looked at through webcam.

He says around 14 percent of Internet users had their online accounts hacked.  About 43 percent also faced various online threats that aimed to access the users' money.  In fact, he says about 21 percent of adults lost data or money online.

Children were also vulnerable.  Nair says for a 12-month period, 22 percent of Internet users faced some kind of cyber threat on the web.

Nair says Kaspersky Lab, a vendor of IT security solutions, blocked nearly 3.7 million attempts to infect computers over the years.

He says the latest versions of Kaspersky Internet Security, Kaspersky Anti-Virus and Kaspersky Internet Security-Multi-Device were designed to protect Filipino home users' privacy, data, identity, money and the device itself.

“We protect the privacy, we protect the money, we protect your kids,” he says.

He says the new solutions include updated technologies ensuring that users are protected whatever they do on their devices online and whichever platforms they choose, whether Windows, OS X or Android.

Nair says Kaspersky Lab's security product suites have updated privacy features that include private browsing, change control, privacy cleaner and webcam protection.
He says the webcam protection feature prevents the interception of images from the webcam, notifies users when it is accessed by legitimate applications and gives the opportunity to block access to the camera. 

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