Your phone camera is a bit of a double-edged sword. It allows you to capture and forever preserve precious moments. However, if you’re not careful, the same camera can be used to record your private moments or steal your confidential info.
Hackers are a clever, technologically-gifted bunch. Unless you’re careful, it’s not hard for them to break into your phone. In fact, they may have already done so with you being none the wiser!
How do you know if your phone camera is hacked? Is it possible for someone to hack your camera without you knowing? And if it’s been hacked, what can you do about it? Read on to find out:
Part 1: Can Someone See You Through Your Phone Camera?
You are probably familiar with video-chatting apps like Skype and Google Duo. These everyday apps are able to use your phone’s camera to record your image and transmit it. Of course, they need your permission to work.
The takeaway here is that the technology to allow someone to see you through your phone camera already exists. All a hacker has to do is trick you into giving permission.
1.1 Can someone hack my phone camera?
Yes, someone can hack your phone camera without you knowing. There are apps out there made specifically for spying, called spyware. They’re often made with a noble purpose, but they’re prone to misuse.
Purely nefarious apps also exist. They will pose as a useful tool or a fun game. When your phone isn’t in active use, they will run in the background and use your camera to take photos or record videos.
GhostCtrl is an infamous example of malicious Android spyware. Users unknowingly install GhostCtrl on their phone while downloading Whatsapp or Pokemon Go from untrusted sources. Hackers then use GhostCtrl to tap into your camera.
1.2 Won’t Google or Apple protect me from hackers?
Google and Apple do their best to take out malicious apps when they appear. While both companies do an adequate job, they aren’t perfect or all-knowing. Plenty of hackers manage to get past their security safeguards.
Don’t rely on Google or Apple to keep you safe!
1.3 Who is likely to hack my phone camera?
Hackers aren’t the only people interested in hacking your phone camera. Here is a list of others who may do it:
- Your boss or employer
- Your parents
- Your spouse or partner
- Your colleagues or business partners
- Your employees
Regardless of who’s hacking your phone camera, you have the right to privacy. And, of course, your confidential information deserves protection.
Part 2: How to Know if Your Phone Camera is Hacked
Knowledge is power. To protect against hackers, you need to stay informed and take some much-needed precautions. Here are some important QAs that will assist you in staying safe:
2.1 How can someone hack my phone camera secretly?
There are several ways for your phone to be hacked secretly. We’ll cover the most important ones here:
- Via spyware apps: As we mentioned before, there are spyware apps that may be installed onto your phone. Most of these apps are almost undetectable. They run in the background and spy on your activities.
- Via “ordinary” apps: There are plenty of utility apps that may hack into your phone camera. Some examples include flashlight apps, games, office utility software, camera editors, and even anti-virus apps.
Sometimes, hackers may attempt to infiltrate your phone via a text message or a picture-attachment sent through a text. In all cases, permission needs to be given on your phone for the hack to be effective.
2.2 How do I know if someone has hacked my phone camera?
Can you tell if someone has hacked into your phone camera? You won’t know for sure unless you consult a cybersecurity expert. However, there are some signs you can watch out for.
2.3 How can I protect against someone hacking my phone camera?
There are some precautions you can take to keep your phone’s camera from being misused by hackers.
- Install from trusted sources: Always install apps from trusted, signed sources. That means don’t download an app if it’s not on Google Play or Apple’s App Store.
- Revoke permissions: Do game apps truly need microphone or camera access? Don’t grant an app, no matter how trusted, access to a feature it doesn’t need.
- Antivirus apps: A legit antivirus app can help you scan for the presence of malware or spyware on your phone.