How to tell if someone has hacked your laptop camera

Ali Raza Last updated: September 13, 2022 Read time: 7 minutes Disclosure

Learn the tell-tale signs to know if your laptop webcam has been hacked and is being used to spy on your computer activities, plus how you can stay safe.

Sneak peek at webcam hacking

The laptop’s built-in camera feature has made video calling and conferencing more effortless. However, it is one of the easiest targets for cybercriminals. In most cases, clicking a malicious link allows remote malware to install on your laptop, giving the spy the internal control of your webcam and access to your personal data. Although, it is difficult to detect the presence of any such malware. However, some signs clearly tell if someone has hacked your laptop webcam. This guide includes all the possible warning signs alongside the best possible ways to prevent webcam hacking.

Have you ever got a crazy feeling that someone could be watching you while seated on your laptop doing what you do best? Well, probably you may be paranoid, but there’re high chances that the camera of your computer has been hacked. Scary right?

A laptop camera is one of the significant computer accessories that you can use in various ways. However, it also poses the most serious threat to your privacy invasion. If someone gets control of your laptop camera, it can be used to spy on you, with the consequences well documented.

Some experts have gone as far as to argue that users have probably already lost the war on privacy.

However, nothing is lost yet, as all you have to do is to upgrade your security protocols. Primarily, you need to install a quality VPN such as ExpressVPN and use some common sense to protect your privacy.

Therefore, if you must be worried that someone is spying your cell phone or laptop webcam, then you’re not alone.

Interestingly, only a few years back Mark Zuckerberg was pictured while covering his laptop camera with some piece of tape.

Now, imagine the boss of the giant tech firm like Facebook, with probably the best tech support to back him up worried about webcam hackers. That tells it’s something that you need to cautious about, at the very best.

6 Signs to tell if your webcam has been hacked

6 Signs to Tell If Your Webcam Has Been Hacked

So how can you tell that your laptop camera has been hacked? Here are some of the signs you should look for;

1. Storage Files

Unfortunately, most people are unaware as to where the files from the camera are stored on the hard drive.

Therefore, you need to check that folder in the settings of the webcam, and if you realize that some of the files there are the ones you never recorded, then probably you’ve been hacked.

2. Check the laptop camera light

One of the easiest (and cheapest as it doesn’t require you to invest in any software) ways to tell that your camera is under attack is by observing the camera indicator light.

Under normal circumstances, the indicator light only turns on when the camera gets activated.

However, if the light turns on during odd times, most probably when you’re not using the camera, then it should be a tell-tale sign that you’re under watch, and someone is spying on you using your laptop camera.

When that happens, quickly check the active apps in the background and check if any of them is responsible for turning the webcam on.

Mostly, no legitimate app should authorize such action without your permission, and hence it should be enough reason to delete the suspicious app.