Expert advice on keeping hackers away from your webcam

BySteven Romo KTRK logo
Thursday, August 11, 2016
How to keep hackers away from your webcam
EMBED <>More Videos

Changing your Wi-Fi password can go a long way in keeping hackers away from sensitive information, experts warn.

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- A Houston mother found hackers watching her daughters' bedroom using a webcam. Now, she's keeping her kids off the internet entirely.

"They were able to find her IP address of her iPad and figured out what kind of system," Jennifer said.

She's the mother of two young girls and asked that her last name not be published. Her privacy is a bigger concern now that hackers targeted her children.

LEARN MORE: Hackers break into webcam in children's bedroom

"My kids are unfortunately no longer allowed to be on the internet," she said.

Alex Dias with Top Tech Experts in Houston said being connected inevitably leads to vulnerabilities.

"Any information you give online, it opens you up to security risks."

A big security problem he sees are customers who set a Wi-Fi password and think they're secure. He said nearly all customers fail to change the passwords for hardware like modems and routers.

"I'd say 98% of people don't change that," Dias said.

He said the default passwords for these devices are extremely simple and available on internet searches. They are also often printed on stickers on the devices themselves.

"If somebody gets into your home network, your network in the house, they have potential access to your computers and anything connected to it. From tablets, to your phone, to security cameras," Dias said.

This is the most common way hackers get in to view your webcams, he said. But there are other ways to get access, like simply trying to play a game online -- that's what Jennifer said happened to her kids.

As for figuring out if someone's already watching you, Dias said it's not easy.

"For the average user it is very hard to distinguish what is legit and what is not."

Changing passwords can help you cut off hackers' access.

"To take it to a higher level of security is to change your password often. Set a reminder every sixty days." Dias said.