Contact 6: Preventing cyber spying

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

CUDAHY (WITI) -- Look around you right now.  Do you have a camera or your laptop nearby?  How about your cell phone? If so, who's watching you?

You've seen so-called "nanny cams" showing awful abuse - evidence that people did the right thing by hooking up surveillance cameras to look over the ones they love.  But what if you never set up a camera and you had no idea that the ones you love are being watched?

Nine-year-old Nicole plays on her computer, chats with friends and takes funny pictures never suspecting there's a problem.  But from a car parked outside her house, Contact 6 watched from a cell phone.

The person watching doesn't just have to be right outside your house - they could be anywhere, hacking into the cameras you might have all over your house.

It's frightening for Nicole's mother, Andrea.

"Could they view when we're not home and then decide they're going to come in and burglarize, or God forbid, take our child?" Andrea said.

In Andrea's home, there are six cameras available for someone to peek into their private lives!

"I kind of want to know, if it's possible, how can i prevent it?" Andrea asks.

Andrea allows Contact 6 to bring in Mark Chapman, a technology expert who protects people from cyber attacks. All he does is install a legal software program that allows homeowners to access their web cameras over the Internet.

"In just a few minutes, we installed some software that is reading off the webcam," Chapman said.

So how would a hacker do it?  They would trick you, and with one wrong move you'd allow them in.

"An attacker would put a link on a website, a malicious link, and all they have to do is convince you to click on the link. If you click on the link, it can download the software remotely," Chapman said.

Luckily, Chapman has a simple solution.`

"If you have a camera, cover it up when you're not using it. If you unplug the cameras or shut down the machines when you're not using them, that's a simple solution.  Take a piece of tape or a post-it and just cover it, and that's all it takes!" Chapman said.

Webcam spying is a serious crime.  Get caught, and the U.S. Attorney`s Office says the penalty is up to five years in prison.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.