Is The FBI Watching Me Through My Computer Camera?

One major flaw with technology and computer devices especially, is that almost everything can be hacked (if not everything). From smart TVs to security systems, surveillance cams, phones, and even smartwatches, hackers can easily manipulate their way into the system and do their thing. Hackers are known to be unauthorized users who break into the computer system and steal or destroy information. Anyone who uses a computer and is connected to the internet is susceptible to any of the many threats that computer hackers pose. These hackers are usually scammers or fraudsters, seeking data which they’ll use against the victim. However, hackers are not the only ones who can barge into your computer uninvited. The government agencies like the FBI do it too, and there are many things they can successfully hack into.

Is It Possible For My Laptop Camera To Be Hacked?

YES. As a matter of fact, it is not a difficult thing for hackers. This type of hack is usually termed “camfecting”, and is one of the commonest hacks today. 

Is The FBI Watching Me Through My Computer Camera?

In case you are wondering if the FBI is watching you through your cameras, the answer is Yes, and No. Yes if you are doing someone suspicious, or you’ve done something to get their attention, and No if you are not doing anything that implicates you, especially online. The FBI can very well monitor you if it wishes to. However, it isn’t a “Big Brother”, so don’t think that there is an agent watching you all day, all week, all year. If all the webcams were to be monitored, imagine how many FBI agents would have to be hired for that. The FBI would only monitor you through your cams when it is absolutely necessary. Sometimes a warrant must be obtained first before such surveillance can happen. 

Why Is The FBI Watching People?

The FBI stands for Federal Bureau of Investigation, so its major task is investigation. This investigation most times involves deep surveillance, which may sometimes entail hacking into devices of suspected individuals, monitoring them even when it becomes a breach of their privacy. Hacking your laptop camera to monitor you, is not a big deal for the FBI. In fact, it is well within their rights to do so. Surveillance is a critical part of any investigation. However, you shouldn’t be bothered about this, unless you’re into something that’ll make the FBI suspect you. Although the FBI has sometimes been said to go too far in their surveillance/investigation tactics, it is not enough reason to assume that they breach user’s privacy all the time. 

How Can I Tell If I’ve Been Hacked?

Although most computer hacks are very subtle and go undetected, certain things can give away a hacker, no matter how subtle his hacking was. The things you should do to check for computer hacks usually involve checking the accuracy of your personal accounts, credit cards, documents, passwords, and so on. If strange changes are seen, it may mean that dangerous malware has been installed by hackers and may already be operating in the computer system. 

How Do I Detect A Webcam Hack?

In the case of a camera hack, what you have to do include:

1. Observing the webcam’s indicator light: Most computer systems have an indicator light that tells when the webcam is on. If you haven’t turned your webcam on yourself, and you notice that the light is on, then someone may be monitoring you. Also, if the light fluctuates frequently, it may equally be a sign that it has been hacked. 

2. Observing the webcam: If you discover that your webcam is always running (when this is not a default setting), then someone may have hacked it. The webcam shouldn’t operate or run on its own, except you set it that way. 

3. Look for strange audio and video recording: If you find any strange webcam recordings in your PC, it’s advisable to start looking for ways to block your PC from hackers, because this is a very big indicator that your cam is being remotely controlled. 

4. Run a scan or seek a professional: If you are very skeptical about your webcam privacy, it may be best to run a scan on your computer, check for any malware, and remove them. If you still see some red flags or you’re still unconvinced, you’d best hire a tech professional to check up your system for you, to at least confirm your doubts. 

How Can I Prevent/Stop Being Monitored

One weird thing people who are wary of being monitored via their webcams do is to block their cameras (usually with tape). James Comey (FBI Director), and Mark Zuckerberg (Founder of Facebook), once made headlines when they disclosed to the public that they use tapes to cover the cameras on their computers. This method may seem crude, but it is actually the cheapest way to nullify a webcam hack and put your mind at ease. There’s no way the FBI or anybody else for that matter, can see through your camera when it’s blocked. Most people who use this method, use a painter’s tape (although any type will do). But you can find better options like the webcam covers that are sold in online marketplaces like Amazon. However, this method will only be ideal for people who do not use their webcams frequently and have no issues keeping it covered up. For those who use the computer cameras on a day-to-day basis, some other preventions/solutions may be used:

1. Never ignore a system update: Computer updates may block pathways and fix security issues that hackers use to gain access to your webcam. Always keep your computer software up-to-date. 

2. Use antivirus software: One common way to hack a webcam is to install and run antivirus software. This will detect and remove most of the viruses that would have harmed the computer, and even those that would’ve been used to hack your webcam. 

3. Use a VPN (Virtual Private Network): Using a VPN doesn’t just guarantee online privacy, but also means safety from evil hackers. 

4. Get technical help: Look for a technician to run a thorough scan on your computer, and remove all suspicious malware. You can also ask them to install security software, or if the computer is already hacked, they can help you undo the hack. 

Other Ways You Can Be Hacked (And Solutions)

Asides from monitoring you via your webcam, there are other ways the FBI or any other hacker may manipulate your system. 3 of such hacks include:

TYPE OF HACKBEST SOLUTIONS
Microphone hackDisable the microphones a security software
Camera hackCover with a tape Get a technician to scan and remove any bugs/malware used for the hack
Data hack (stealing documents, passwords, etc)Run an antivirus Seek technical help from expert

Endnotes

The FBI may be well-known for carrying out unwarranted hacks on unsuspecting people, but still, they are not the only ones interested in hacking your camera. The truth is that scammers are the majority that hack into system cameras to take private pictures/videos of victims and blackmail them with it later on. Therefore it is not ideal to point your fingers at the FBI when once you suspect a hack on your computer. The FBI would only do such a thing when it’s necessary. But if you want to be free from this worry of whether you are being monitored or not, your best option would be to cover your webcam with a tape. 

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