The experts of the global cybersecurity company ESET advise on what we can do to enhance the safety of children and adolescents when connected online.
A few years ago, when Mark Zuckerberg was photographed with his laptop camera covered with duct tape, some thought it might be an exaggeration.
Today, laptops, smartphones, tablets and most smart devices have a built-in camera, as video calls, selfies, vlogging make our communication with others much easier. This freedom is especially enjoyed by children and adolescents.
Unfortunately, however, it is not only human relationships that benefit from technology, it is also fraudsters who, through the computer or mobile phone camera, rush to spy on their victims wherever they are.
By using malicious code, scammers can try to break into a device and use its camera or microphone to serve their own malicious purposes.
This way, intruders can turn your device's camera on and off without you knowing it, spying on the most private moments of your life.
What are their motives?
The motives vary - some find the idea of spying on someone exciting, others want to blackmail the victim to extract money. In such a case, if the victim does not do what the cybercriminals demand or does not pay, their videos or photos are posted on the internet.
Surely the idea that someone is secretly watching us while we are at the computer or on the cell phone sends chills to our spine. Especially if the intruders are watching our own child through the camera.
5 steps to protect your child
According to cybersecurity experts ESET, here are five steps you can take to protect your child:
1. Teach your child to cover their computer and phone camera when not in use. That way, even if the scammers gain control, their camera is mostly useless.
2. Make sure the default setting on your children's cameras is "off".
3. Use a reliable, up-to-date internet security solution that can protect cameras at the software level.
4. Make sure your child does not place cameras or smart camera devices in places where they might be used to capture personal moments.
5. Teach your child that in front of an uncovered computer or cell phone camera we must be careful what we do because behind it there may be someone malicious watching us.
Finally, set a good example for your child. Be the first to follow these tips.
More about the dangers children face online and how - in addition to technology - you can mitigate them can be found on the English language website Safer Kids Online created by the global cybersecurity company ESET.