How to Tell if Your Mac Camera has been Hacked

Last Updated on Feb 6, 2021

Nowadays, hacking is the most common practice that is used to perform cybercrime, and the matter of fact is, sometimes even we don’t know someone has stolen the information from the phone or laptop. But if you keep sharp eyes on your Mac, iPhone, it’s too easy to tell if your device is hacked. To make it easier, we’ve prepared a detailed article on tricks to protect the Mac from being hacked and to secure the Mac from hackers.

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Let’s start with precautions to safeguard the Mac and later move on to the phone, I hope this guide covers all the parts that you’re looking for.

How to Protect Webcam from being Hacked?

Buy Webcam Cover and Microphone Blocker for Mac

Most of the users already know about the webcam cover and microphone blocker, but they didn’t implement on their Mac. Webcam cover and Microphone blocker are easy to buy from the market, or eCommerce store like Amazon. Once the webcam is covered by the webcam cover, no one can spy on your activities, unless the cover is removed from the camera.

You can also cover the webcam with Black Tape, but that won’t look good on your machine, instead spend a little money on a Webcam Cover Slider and use it with Mac. At the same time, buy the Microphone blocker from Amazon to avoid being hacked.

There are certain criteria for using the webcam with Mac, and MacBook, like you, cannot close the MacBook while keeping the webcam cover over the camera. You can refer to the Apple Guide on the same.

Power Off or Disconnect External Camera

If you’re using an external Camera with Mac, then it’s best to keep it disabled when not in use. Disabling might be tricky. However, you can unplug the external camera from the Mac. While the Mac also provides complete information regarding the apps that are using the Camera. To check, click on the Apple icon > System Preferences > Security & Privacy > Privacy tab > Camera.

Update Video Conferencing App

Video Conferencing apps like Zoom, Google Meet, Teams, Go To Meeting, etc. uses Mac’s camera, and everyone knows about Zoom’s security breach of last year. However, after knowing about the same issue, the Zoom app was fixed. Therefore, whatever video conferencing application you’re using, make sure to keep it up to date. Visit the Mac App Store and update the Video Conferencing App.

Don’t Install App from Untrusted Source

Apple has very strict policies for the developers who wants to launch their app in the App Store, and that’s why, it’s always recommended to download any application from the Mac App Store.

Use Antivirus

We’ve made a list of the best Antivirus for the Mac, there are some antivirus that offers webcam protection and prevents your Mac from being hacked. Spend few bucks on one of these Antivirus Software and enable the webcam protection on your Mac.

Change Password of Internet Connected Camera

If you’re using an external camera or internet-connected device that is integrated with Mac Camera, then you should change the default password. Internet-connected devices have common passwords that could be fetched from Google. To change the default password, check the product guide to change the password.  

How to Check Webcam History Mac

The Terminal App is a quick way to track which apps are using the webcam on the Mac, however, its hard to track the webcam history on Mac, but getting the real-time data like this is simple process.

Press the Command+ Space Bar to launch Spotlight Search and launch Terminal App.

Now type the following command,

lsof | grep “AppleCamera”

This command will give you the list of applications using the Mac Camera. If it doesn’t work, then try other two commands mentioned below.

lsof | grep “iSight”

lsof | grep “VDC”

How to tell if your laptop camera is hacked

There are few things to verify and by that you can tell if your laptop has been hacked.

Trick 1: Check Light Indicator

When the Camera is in use by any App, you’ll see a small LED Light Indicator near the Camera indicating that the camera is being used by app. If you see inactivity in the Camera Light Indicator, then it’s suspicious, someone might be monitoring you.

Trick 2: Check Browser Extension

On using the Browser if the Camera Indicator lights up, then there’s an issue with the extension. Reboot the Mac, and launch the browser app, if the webcam light turns on, then start deleting the extensions and avoid installing random extension.

Trick 3: Monitor Applications

While using any app, if the Camera indicator turns up, even though, you’re not using any feature that needs camera, then that’s your culprit. So, start launching the apps and see which app triggers the camera with no reason.

Trick 4: Check Webcam in Activity Monitor

Task Manager is the right point to check the running apps and features on the Mac. Likewise, if the Camera is in use, the Activity Monitor should show as a running process. If it is in use, then restart the Mac and check again. Press the Command + Alt + Escape to open the Activity Monitor.

Trick 5: Try Using Webcam

It’s not always what you see is true, sometimes, if the webcam is damaged or facing software issues, it will automatically turn on in the background. Therefore, launch the Webcam and see if it is working correctly.

How to tell if your laptop camera has been hacked Mac

We’ve already listed the tricks to know whether laptop camera has been hacked in the above section, and the same is applicable for the Mac, MacBook. Check the above section to verify your Mac camera is hacked or not.

How to tell if your Phone Camera is hacked

Much like laptops, the phone could be hacked and you wouldn’t even know. But there are few ways to identify and of course you would come to know about the same.

Clue 1: Decrease in Battery Life

Even if you’re not using the phone and still the battery life is constantly decreasing, that might be a sign of your phone is been hacked. Check the battery usage from the Settings of the device and track which app is using more battery, delete it.

Clue 2: Slow Performance

If the hacker has added the malware or spying, then the phone will take load or won’t work. App crashing, system crashing are the common signs of your phone is being affected by malware.

Clue 3: Hike in Data Usage

Is your phone using Cellular Data than expected? Have you checked the background processes? Visit the Settings app and track the cellular data usage.

Clue 4: Random Calls and Text Messages

Did you notice any calls or text messages that you didn’t make? If yes, then consider your phone has being hacked.

Clue 5: Random Activities on Different Accounts that you didn’t do

Hacker’s motive is to get as information as he or she can get. It could be the Social Accounts, Banking App, or anything.

Can Mac Camera be Turned on without Light?

No, there is no way the Camera can be turned on without the light, that said, the light is wired to the camera, that powers up the light.

Why is the Green Light on my Mac Camera On?

Green Light turns on when the Mac Camera is in use. However, if you’re sure that no app is using the Camera of Mac, then force quit all the apps (press Option + Command + Escape). After that restart the Mac.

Jaysukh Patel is the founder of howtoisolve. Also self Professional Developer, Techno lover mainly for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and iOS, Jaysukh is one of responsible person in his family. Contact On: [email protected] [OR] [email protected]

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