I’ve been paranoid about hackers remotely turning on my webcam and spying on me for ages. I was concerned about creepy dudes and or stalker exes infecting my computer with malware that would allow them to turn on my webcam and watch me get dressed or masturbate. Mostly masturbate.
Some people would accuse me of whacked-out paranoia, because I’ve been putting a piece of tape over my webcam when it’s not in use for years, but incidents involving hackers remotely turning on webcams have become more and more prevalent.
Webcam spying is no longer the sole concern of pervy nerds, not when the FBI gets involved and develops software that makes it that much easier to catch you with your hand down your pants:
The FBI has been able to covertly activate a computer’s camera—without triggering the light that lets users know it is recording—for several years, and has used that technique mainly in terrorism cases or the most serious criminal investigations, said Marcus Thomas, former assistant director of the FBI’s Operational Technology Division in Quantico, now on the advisory board of Subsentio, a firm that helps telecommunications carriers comply with federal wiretap statutes.
Sure, the FBI is probably not concerned with Joe Blow and his fapping habits, but if the FBI has this tech it means that everyday hacker types are already way ahead of the game. I don’t know about you, but I spend a lot of time in front of my laptop and I wouldn’t want just anyone—voyeurs, sex blackmailers, spurned exes—to be able to see what I’m doing when I’m on my computer.
Better paranoid than sorry, I say. Especially if you’ve ever dated anyone who has even the most basic hacking skills. Cover that webcam now, there’s a Band Aid over mine as I type this.