Do you know that thousands of computers get infected with spyware every year? Yes, cybercriminals trick potential victims into installing spyware, which they use to remotely watch and record their victims’ intimate moments via their webcams without the victims knowing. A spyware is a piece of software that aims to gather information about a person or organization without their knowledge. This is why we are asking online users to cover their webcams with a sticker or piece of tape when they are not using them. So, even if their computers or mobile devices get infected with a spyware, the cybercriminals will not be able to spy on them.
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Cybercriminals sometimes record videos and take pictures of their potential victims in intimate moments without their knowledge via their webcams and threaten to publish them if the victims do not follow their instructions or pay a ransom.
Cassidy Wolf, who was crowned Miss Teen US in 2013, had her computer hacked and images of her taken via her webcam by a hacker name Jared James Abrahams, her former high school classmate. Cassidy Wolf was contacted by Jared James Abrahams, who sent her an email message telling her that she should do what she is told or else, he would release all the pictures of her that he had taken via her webcam.
Pictures of the 19-year-old were taken of her going to bed, changing her clothes, and other intimate moments for a year. Cassidy Wolf reported the matter to the police, which was taken over by the FBI, who arrested Jared James Abrahams.
The hacker, Jared James Abrahams, confessed to installing malware on over a 100 women’s computers so that he could obtain videos and pictures of them through their webcams. He was convicted and is now serving an 18-month sentence in Federal prison.
Cassidy Wolf is encouraging persons to put a sticker over their webcams when they are not using their computers. But this is simply not enough. Here a few simple ways your computer can get infected with spyware.
How Your Computer can get Infected with Spyware
- installing software on fake websites in order to watch a video ( no additional software required to view videos online)
- clicking on a link in a Facebook post, a Tweet (Twitter), an email message, or elsewhere, that takes you to a malicious website
- downloading pirated or cracked software online embed with malware like spyware, Trojan horse or Keylogger
- opening a malicious email attachment that contains a virus, Trojan horse or other malware
- downloading bogus antivirus software
- downloading fake software updates
- allowing an unknown person to access your computer remotely via a remote desktop software
- not updating your operating system and web browsers
- browsing the internet without antivirus software installed
- browsing the internet without a firewall software
- connecting your computer to an unsecured Wi-Fi connection at places like a coffee shop, hotel or other Wi-Fi hotspots
- not protecting your Wi-Fi (wireless) connection with a password
- allowing the “Auto Run” or AutoPlay feature in Windows, which opens a default program (could be a virus), when a flash/thumb drive is inserted into one of your USB ports
- allow a stranger to use your computer without monitoring him/her
It is important that you know how your computer can be hacked, so you can prevent this from happening you.
Please share with us what you know or ask a question about this article by leaving a comment below. Also, check the comment section below for additional information, if there is any.
Remember to forward malicious or phishing email messages to us at the following email address: [email protected] .
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