Survey finds half of Americans unaware of webcam hackers

Jul 3, 2012 13:57:38Posted by John Skorick, MyAKA Founder & CEO

Survey finds half of Americans unaware of webcam hackers

A recent survey conducted by CamPatch found one in two Americans are unaware that webcams can be remotely turned on by hackers, which allows cyber criminals to covertly watch their victims. The survey results suggest this issue is becoming a serious internet privacy issue among men and women of all ages.

The study findings showed 60 percent of women and 40 percent of men were unaware of the risk of webcam hacking. Surprisingly, 57 percent of participants from the supposedly tech-savvy Generation Y were also uninformed about the risk.

"It is alarming that high numbers of women and young people do not know their webcams can be easily hacked," said Dr. Ruby A. Rouse, study leader.

Laptop users may want to cover their webcam up when they are not using it and always keep an eye out for the webcam light which, when illuminated, indicates that the cam is on. However, this may not always be a foolproof indicator.

"Experienced hackers can access a webcam in less than a minute and can even turn off the light which shows the webcam is on," said Parham Eftekhari, president and founder of CamPatch. "Webcam hackers are the 'Peeping Toms' of today, and this problem is only going to get worse."

Another good way to protect against webcam hackers, according to SecPoint, is to set up antivirus software and antispyware to help protect a system from the malware, which is what allows hackers to access web cameras in the first place.