How to Check your webcam or surveillance camera has been hacked

how to check your webcam or surveillance camera has been hacked
how to check your webcam or surveillance camera has been hacked

We review a series of signs with which to recognise intruders, and we mention some tips to avoid improper access to the cameras on our laptops or the home surveillance camera system.

The practice of placing a sticker over the laptop webcam is already quite common, but some people may not feel like doing it for fear of spoiling the aesthetics of the device or for another reason. If you’ve covered your webcam recently, you might be worried about all the time it’s been uncovered. In any case, if you have doubts about whether someone has been able to hack it, we explain below how you can check that no third party is accessing the integrated camera.

Likewise, if you have a security camera installed at home that you can control from a computer or mobile phone, we also collect some signs that it may have been compromised.

Today, scammers and cyber criminals may want to gain webcam access not only to obtain intimate images to use in blackmail, but to circumvent biometric controls in any application that uses this type of facial recognition.

On the other hand, this does not have to be just a hacker problem, but rather that some program you have installed is making invasive use of your computer’s controls , such as the webcam. Normally, the operating system will always ask you for permission first when a program requests access to it, but some may have succeeded anyway.

The webcam light turns on randomly

Laptops include a small light next to the webcam that must turn on whenever the camera is activated, precisely to warn the user that it is being used. External cameras must also include this pilot light.

You should be able to recognise what this light looks like because you will have seen it when making a video call. Therefore, if you have ever seen that the light has suddenly activated without you being using any video conferencing application or the like, this is a bad sign.

If this is your case, you can open the task manager that includes the operating system you use, and see if there is a program acting in the background that could have activated the camera on its own. Reviewing the currently active programs, check the permissions of each of these applications in your device’s Settings, ensuring that none of them have unnecessary permissions to use the webcam.

Check your browser extensions

Like the programs installed on the computer, the extensions that you have downloaded in the browser have also been able to gain access to the webcam without it being necessary. In this case, it is most likely that it is not someone trying to hack the computer, but simply that the developer or provider of the extension has gone too far by demanding access to many parts of the device.

If the webcam light always lights up for a moment when opening a browser, extensions may be behind the problem. A possible solution will be to review the installed extensions or add-ons and deactivate them all, and then activate them one by one until you find the source of the problem. If they are indicated, also review the permissions that each of them has requested.

You find a strange folder or files on the disk

Normally, your computer automatically creates a folder in which to store videos recorded with your webcam. You can search your computer’s file system for the default folder for the camera . It would be a very bad sign if you found videos recorded with her there that you don’t recognize.

This folder or video files could also appear from one day to the next, without you having used your webcam at all in that period of time. Most likely, the videos are stored within the Documents folder, or in a folder within the system program files.

Check permissions in Settings

In any case, it is good to take a look at the section dedicated to the webcam in the settings menu of your Windows, Mac or Linux. It can also be found in the privacy and security section of the settings menu, if your system has one.


In this section, you should be able to see which applications have permission to access it, as well as activate other security measures to ensure that you are always notified when a program turns on the camera.

Do these two checks on the surveillance camera

If you have a home security device, there are two essential checks you can perform to ensure there is no suspicious activity on the surveillance system. You may have perceived a signal because the Internet at home is slower, the camera’s LED has turned on, or you may have caught the camera moving from one side to another for no apparent reason (in case it is allow viewing from different angles).

For one, you can use the advanced or security features included in your router to examine data traffic . If you know what your camera’s traffic volume should be approximately, seeing increased activity may indicate invasive or foreign access to your camera. If you also locate traffic or peak generated at times when you are not using the camera display or using it in any other way, there would be more reason to suspect something.

Check your router model and consult its instructions to access the internal system. There, check this data and, if security options are available to limit access to the home network, activate them. If your router is from an operator, the company could inform you which options of this type you can use.

Secondly, most home video surveillance cameras come with an app to access it from your mobile. Ideally, the app will include a login history , which you can check for any access at a time or from a device or region that you don’t recognize.


Previous articleDo you want to know if something has been written with ChatGPT? Pay attention to these words
Next articleMovistar renews its professional offer with 1Gb fiber plus mobile with unlimited data and 5G+
Expert tech and gaming writer, blending computer science expertise