Is Your Computer Spying On You?

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Is Your Computer Spying On You?

Is your computer spying on you? If it has a webcam, you may be surprised at easy it is to remotely enable it and have it send pictures.

Years ago, I saw a news segment where a reporter showed how a user could be tricked into installing an application that allowed someone to remotely enable the computer’s webcam. Since then, I’ve always covered my computer webcams. Of course, I’m also very careful about what I install on computers.

Unfortunately, just being careful about what you install on your computer no longer seems to be enough. As an example, I’ve recently seen the following error pop up occasionally:

“Microsoft Edge Content Process is trying to access your webcam.”

A similar message appeared less frequently indicating a Chrome process was trying to access the webcam.

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Over 300 realistic practice test questions with in-depth explanations will help you test your comprehension and readiness for the exam. The book includes:

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Each practice test question includes a detailed explanation to help you understand the content and the reasoning behind the question. You’ll be ready to take and pass the exam the first time you take it.

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Why is my Computer Spying on Me?

Research gives conflicting answers on this. Some sites indicate that it’s caused by DeviceCensus (a Microsoft app) collecting information on devices. It may be launched via a JavaScript API (Application Programming Interface) that allows the browser to access the webcam, a feature of HTML 5. It could be a benign plugin accessing these methods. Or, it might be malicious malware written by a hacker intent on spying on you.

Still, one thing is clear. Unless you take steps to block this access, malicious hackers may be able to spy on you through your computer. Even though my webcam was covered, log messages made it clear that some processes were accessing my camera without my permission.

How to Prevent the Spying

Windows 10

Use these steps to change the overall settings for the camera and microphone in Windows 10.

  1. Click Start, enter Privacy and select Privacy settings.
  2. In Settings, select Camera.
    Turn off camera to stop Computer Spying
  3. Click Change.
  4. Press the toggle button to turn the camera off.
  5. Select Microphone (right under camera).
  6. Repeat the same steps to turn the microphone off.

If you only want to allow access to the camera and microphone for specific apps (such as Skype), you can do so. Leave overall access on and scroll down to the apps section. Select Off for all apps except for the ones you specifically want to access the camera and microphone.

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  • 75 question pre-assessment exam
  • Mastering Security Basics (full content from Chapter 1 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 15 practice test questions)
  • Understanding Identity and Access Management (full content from Chapter 2 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 15 practice test questions)
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  • Securing Hosts and Data (full content from Chapter 5 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 15 practice test questions)
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  • Glossary

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Google Chrome

Use these steps to change the settings for the camera and microphone within Google Chrome.

  1. Open an instance of Google Chrome.
  2. Click on the button to customize and control Google Chrome.
  3. Select Settings.
  4. Scroll down and select Advanced
  5. In the Privacy and security section, select Site Settings.
  6. Under Permissions, select Camera.
  7. Click the button next to Ask before accessing (recommended). It will change to Blocked.
    Note: While I had this setting enabled to Ask before accessing (recommended) originally, logs showed that Google Chrome allowed access to the camera without requesting permission.

CompTIA Security+ Study Guide

The 501 Version of the Study Guide

The CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-501 Study Guide is an update to the top-selling SY0-201, SY0-301, and SY0-401 study guides, which have helped thousands of readers pass the exam the first time they took it.  It includes the same elements readers raved about in the previous three versions.

Each of the eleven chapters presents topics in an easy to understand manner and includes real-world examples of security principles in action.

You’ll understand the important and relevant security topics for the Security+ exam, without being overloaded with unnecessary details. Additionally, each chapter includes a comprehensive review section to help you focus on what’s important.



Over 300 realistic practice test questions with in-depth explanations will help you test your comprehension and readiness for the exam. The book includes:

  • A 75 question pre-test
  • A 75 question post-test
  • Practice test questions at the end of every chapter.

Each practice test question includes a detailed explanation to help you understand the content and the reasoning behind the question. You’ll be ready to take and pass the exam the first time you take it.

If you plan to pursue any of the advanced security certifications, this guide will also help you lay a solid foundation of security knowledge. Learn this material, and you’ll be a step ahead for other exams. This SY0-501 study guide is for any IT or security professional interested in advancing in their field, and a must-read for anyone striving to master the basics of IT security.

Kindle edition also available.

You can take the steps in this post to block access to your webcam and microphone. This will prevent malicious hackers from being able to spy on you through your computer.

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