January 28th is International Data Privacy Day.
If you’re wondering why data privacy needs its own awareness day, well hello, good morning and welcome to the 21 Century. Today, technological advances come at breakneck speed. With every new device and development, at some point the user is asked to fork over a portion of his or her identifying information. At the beginning of our always-connected era, people dutifully filled out their data as they had been prompted to. But eventually people began to ask “Why?” “Why does my productivity app need to know my birthdate?” and “Why should I allow my guided yoga app to access my contacts?”
Bleeding Data all Over the Place
There were no easy or comfortable answers, it turned out. What people began to understand is that the trade off for our super-connected experience is our privacy. Today, when we take pictures on our smartphones, they contain location data. Many common apps contain keylogging capabilities. We give our apps permission to listen in on our conversations. Our browsers track our every move. And all of this is just a small snippet of what we are putting up for grabs on a daily basis.
It’s no big surprise then that the cameras that surround us are sapping our privacy as well. Cameras, which can peer into every aspect of our lives, are now built into lots of tech and pop up just about everywhere — our phones, Alexas, baby monitors, desktops, laptops, home security systems, gaming systems, smart TVs and a whole host of other IoT devices. And while the capability to take photos and videos is part and parcel of our digital lives, these cameras open us up to a whole lot of potential snooping.
A Sneak Peek Into What Attackers Can See
Here is some of what people can do with your camera once they have access to it: record and look in on you at any time, take pictures, conduct facial recognition scans and livestream your camera feed to the internet. Hackers have been known to infiltrate baby monitors to take pictures of sleeping infants and there have been incidents wherein attackers uploaded pictures of people in compromising situations to the internet. In fact, The Dark Web has entire marketplaces dedicated to buying and selling ill-gotten webcam streams.
Moreover, there have been reports of employers spying on their employees and schools spying on their students via laptop webcams. Some of the apps we use on a daily basis can access your camera without you knowing it. While some apps need this access to do their job (it’s kind of hard to use Instagram without allowing it to access your camera), a whole lot of them don’t really need it. And while this doesn’t necessarily mean that their intentions are less than innocent, you should think twice before granting that level of permission.
Preserving Privacy with Reason Webcam Protection
In this post-Snowden world, we’ve got to accept the fact that if we’re not actively doing something to preserve what’s left of our privacy, we are inherently compromising it. That’s why we have developed a comprehensive webcam privacy solution. Far more than just a piece of duct tape or a little plastic slide-y window, Reason’s webcam protection feature not only prevents anyone from recording you, it alerts you to any malicious activity taking place on your webcam. It’s easy to deploy and is effective against the full scope of wabcam infiltration attacks.
Getting set up is simple. Just follow these steps:
- Go to reasonsecurity.com
- Click on “Camera Protection”.
- Upgrade to Reason Premium. If you already have a Reason Premium license, click the “I already have a license” link.
- Insert the activation code in the “License Settings” screen, by clicking the settings icon on the top right and navigation to the license section. The lock icon will disappear from the Camera Protection feature icon.
- Now you can choose to:
- Monitor all unknown apps, while allowing access to trusted apps only.
- Block all webcam access and be informed each time access is requested.
- Monitor all access attempts – any app, trusted to not, will need permission to access your camera.
- Allow access to all requests – but be informed each time your camera is in use.
Whichever level of protection you choose, you can be sure that you’ll have what you need to ensure attackers keep out of your webcams.
Taking Back What’s Yours
Today, there are just so many threats to privacy but that doesn’t mean that you’re powerless to stop them. International Data Privacy Day should remind us all that we have the power to take back what’s rightfully ours. With Reason’s webcam protection, you can ensure that you’re never targeted via your camera — and that’s something to smile and say “cheese” about.
Today, there are just so many threats to privacy but that doesn’t mean that you’re powerless to stop them. International Data Privacy Day should remind us all that we have the power to take back what’s rightfully ours. With Reason’s webcame protection, you can ensure that you’re never targeted via your camera — and that’s something to smile and say “cheese” about.