Take the 2-minute tour ×
Information Security Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for Information security professionals. It's 100% free, no registration required.

How can I secure my computer more, knowing these days that there are many websites, especially ones where you don't have to even click before a virus is downloaded straight to your hard-drive.

I read an article on Flash player having a security loophole that can automatically start up a webcam without the owner even knowing.

My question is: how can I prevent drive-by-download attacks from happening to me?

Even with firewalls and other anti-virus software, I know there are other people out there that are far more advanced and "can do Magic in computers" as the case may be.

share|improve this question
    
    
I taped a piece if paper over mine. –  user34974 Dec 3 '13 at 10:12

3 Answers 3

up vote 6 down vote accepted

You can disable Flash access to your webcam using the Global Privacy Settings panel.

Do not use a computer account with administrative privileges. Create a regular user account that is not authorised to install software.

It is important to use an up-to-date web browser. Popular opinion is against using Microsoft Internet Explorer. Try Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome. You can install extensions for the browsers that provide additional security, such as blocking JavaScript on a per-site basis.

share|improve this answer
1  
There are other means to operate a webcam than just Adobe's Flash. –  user6373 Jan 7 '12 at 18:35

If you want to be 100% sure that there's no unauthorised use of your webcam, then you'll need to physically disable it -- open up the case and unplug it, or just put some tape over the lens.

share|improve this answer
2  
Thomas Gabriel: Detective, covering the camera with your hand does not turn off the microphone. –  Jeff Ferland Jan 7 '12 at 16:32
    
@JeffFerland As if the microphone's input couldn't be scrambled up to the point of "I can't understand anything" just by using the same tape on the right spot... –  user6373 Jan 7 '12 at 18:45

Have a read of this question on visible indications that the webcam is on. Your solution may have to include physical controls as well as securing your computer from an intrusion as best you can.

share|improve this answer
1  
But note that the answer is absolutely wrong! The person answering forgot about the fact that it doesn't take firmware, but only a simple change in system configuration (as malware would be able to change). Check forums.logitech.com/t5/Webcams/Can-I-turn-off-red-LED/m-p/… for one of the many examples. LOGITECH WEBCAMS as an example DO NOT need firmware changes to have their light disabled! And note that I'm not yet talking about former Adobe Flash security issues that enabled camera use without indicating activation. In the end, physically unplug to be 100% sure and safe! –  user6373 Jan 7 '12 at 18:44
    
I can turn most of the lights on my laptop on or off or switch color with a simple echo to the kernel (in linux). As far as I know it is the same under windows. –  Baarn Jan 8 '12 at 17:09

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.