Protect your camera and microphone from unauthorized access

Tipps & Tricks


4 minutos

This protects you from unauthorized access to the camera and microphone.

Do you like to make video calls with your family and would you like to stay in touch with your family, especially in these difficult times? In this case, you not only need the right communication software, but also the right hardware. You get in touch with a microphone and a camera, and simple versions are already available on the market for little money. The problem: Hackers and criminals often gain access to technology built into your computer and can spy on you as a user, among other things. To avoid this, there are suitable solutions that significantly increase your safety in everyday life.

This gives criminals access to the camera or your microphone.

Basically, the procedure for trying to access the camera and microphone is similar to any other threat. Criminals mainly make sure that malware gets into your computer. This can be nested in the system and work, for example, in such a way that the image from the webcam or the content from the microphone is transmitted directly to the desired location. As a computer user, you usually don’t realize this, or only when it’s too late.

The possibilities of bringing malware to the computer are, of course, more diverse today than ever. Dozens of different ways and hundreds of modified viruses or malware every minute infect the system more effectively than ever. Simply clicking on a malicious link can cause unwanted malware to download undetected and in the background, with no warning to the user. But popular phishing emails, of which billions are sent every day, also contribute greatly to the immense danger users are in. If you open one of the dubious attachments, which is disguised as an invoice or an important document, for example, the corresponding malware also enters your hard drive and can give criminals immediate access to your camera and microphone.

Effective protection by mechanical guards for your hardware in everyday life

As with protecting your own four walls, you can ensure significantly greater security for your home computer, laptop, or smartphone not only with modern technology, but also with mechanical aids. You may have seen in videos or movies that the corresponding hardware in the form of microphone and camera is covered with a cover. Especially with an integrated webcam, a corresponding function comes in particularly handy. With a camera connected separately to the computer or laptop, things are of course much easier. Simply remove the USB cable from the appropriate slot and criminals will no longer have access to the connected and used hardware. The same applies, of course, to a USB microphone. Here too there is the option to simply remove the cable.

If this is not possible, for example because the effort would be enormous, there are mechanical protections that are intended to prevent unauthorized access to the hardware used. Many manufacturers have already recognized the signs of the times with so-called business devices and equip notebooks and models with a webcam cover. It’s a handy built-in slider that you can easily open or close with a single motion. If your computer doesn’t have such a device, you can easily replace it. You can find suitable versions for this on the Internet, which you can buy and install very quickly, or alternatively you can use a regular adhesive strip in the classic way.

However, with a microphone, protection seems a bit more difficult. Simply gluing it is not worth it here, since the transfer is still possible. Although quality is reduced as a result, interception is definitely present. In such a case, you’d better go directly to Windows settings and turn the microphone sensitivity down to zero. As a result, this basically shouldn’t transmit any information anymore, so you’re at least largely on the safe side. However, if you are concerned that proper measures may not be enough, we recommend that you use powerful software as well.

You are also on the safe side with the right software

Among other things, you benefit from many different offers if you want to protect your microphone and camera from unauthorized access. A good option for this is, for example, the small program Micro Snitch. This keeps an eye on activities on your own computer and always warns you as a user if a third party remotely accesses your microphone or camera. In this case, you as the user can react quickly and take appropriate measures to prevent misuse of the hardware.

At the same time, however, many other security programs come with built-in webcam protection, which are used in different systems due to numerous advantages and possibilities. This applies, for example, to Kaspersky Total Security 2022. In addition to practical antivirus protection against all common threats, webcam protection is included, which effectively prevents unauthorized access to the hardware used. Of course, there are many other offers on the market that you can use to significantly increase security in everyday life. G Data Antivirus 2021 or Avast Antivirus also includes built-in protection, so you don’t even have to spend extra money on this one.

Tip: When using mobile devices, think about maximum security by relying on the right software. Appropriate applications are freely available and can offer you good protection. With these mostly free variants, you no longer have to worry about unauthorized use of your camera or microphone. For example, search for the corresponding products in the Google PlayStore or the Apple AppStore and don’t be left without effective protection in everyday life.

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