Should I Cover Up My Webcam When I’m Not Using It?

This is one of those “rules of thumb” that have come into existence in recent years that, in my opinion, is totally overblown.

Sadly, webcam manufacturers are feeding the paranoia by providing easy-to-use lens covers with their products. There’s nothing wrong with that, other than it does increase the apparent need for the practice (and perhaps the price).

Cover the webcam if you must, but you can probably guess what I’m about to say.

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How do webcams get hacked?

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I’ve heard that computers that have webcams installed can get hacked. My question is how do hackers get access? Shouldn’t I be able to see the webcam software running on my screen? How can I tell if the webcam has been hacked and how do I avoid it?

A webcam hack is nothing special. It’s just plain-old malware.

Some malware acts as spam-sending zombies. Other malware actually performs data destruction. Still other malware might sniff your keystrokes. This malware turns on your webcam and does something with what it sees.

Let’s look at how this works and what you can do.

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Troubleshooting Computer Monitor Problems: the Sideways Stretch

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I’ve installed 22″ flat screen Optiquest Q2201wb monitor to replace my several-year-old 17″ CRT ViewSonic E771 monitor. Everything seems stretched out sideways: the icons on my desktop are now rectangular instead of square; all the letters in my posts seem wider; the people on the screen seem shorter and fatter; etc.

My neighbor thinks I need to replace the video card(?) in my computer tower. Is this true? Need I do any other things to accommodate the change in monitors. If ‘Yes’, can you tell me what to do and if they’re things I can do rather than taking the tower to the shop where I got it?

I’ve seen this computer monitor problem myself. In fact, if I so choose, I can make that problem happen on my computer monitors without much effort.

Naturally, I choose not to.

The good news is that it is, likely, just that – a choice. But exactly what choice depends on the capabilities of your monitor and your video card.

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