Here’s a disturbing but very real tactic for hackers: spying on you via your device’s camera. Some simply watch you for fun. Others attempt to catch incriminating photos and then blackmail you by threatening to release the photos or video (that they have) to all your Facebook friends, LinkedIn connections or e-mail address book (which they might also have) unless you pay a ransom.
If you pay, guess what? You just identified yourself as someone who will pay for extortion, putting a target on your back. Plus, they still have your photos so they can come back and ask for more because they know you care.
As always, follow the various security strategies we’ve been sending you via these tips. As a backup, you can buy stickers that cover your camera with a slider so you can uncover it when you want to actually use it to take a picture or join a web meeting. These are really inexpensive and can be found on Amazon for under $10. Search for “webcam cover slider.”