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The likelihood that burglars will sneak in is relatively low, but the simple click of a lock can make it much less likely.Perhaps the time required to spy on another person seems tiring.
But it isn’t just governments who are co-opting webcams to do their surveillance work.
In 2010, high school administrators in Pennsylvania took more than 30,000 webcam images of students using remote access tools installed on school-issued laptops.
There are now 22 models listed on the TRENDnet homepage as being vulnerable, all produced between April 2010 and February 2012.
Although the company has notified all registered owners, they note that many purchasers don't register their webcams and therefore can't be warned.
After all, the majority of us spend several hours each day staring—often expressionlessly—at the computer screens in front of us.
Do hackers have the patience to wait for us to put ourselves in a compromising pose? Given the lurking threat of webcam snooping, why don’t we all just cover the camera with a sticky note and breathe easy? With laptops becoming ever thinner, sleeker, and sexier, nobody wants to mar their machine with Band-Aids and Post-Its.For a webcam that does 24-hour surveillance of your store or home, you'll have to rely on software protection via firmware updates.But, Cobb says, if you're not willing to stay on the lookout for news of security failures, you should cover up the cam when it might pick up something personal.This incident shouldn't just be a wake-up call to TRENDnet webcam owners, though. Make a strong password, and, more importantly, register the camera."That last point is crucial, Cobb says.Just because your webcam is a different brand, or even built into your computer, it doesn't mean it's secure. Many people blow off registering their gadgets, but any device with an IP address will need firmware updates to fix bugs and vulnerabilities.Some students in the Lower Merion School District reported seeing the indicator light turn on with no explanation.