How to Detect if You're Being Monitored

Written by Henrik Rothen

Mar.07 - 2024 11:42 AM CET

How to Detect if You're Being Monitored.

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Recordings from private surveillance can end up on various websites.

Senest share how to protect yourself.

Signs of Unauthorized Access

  • According to Manuela Sonderegger, spokesperson for the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), one sign of unauthorized access is if your PC and camera behave oddly.

  • If the camera light turns on by itself even though it's not in use, it could be an indication.

  • Similarly, if your settings have changed unexpectedly.

  • Other signs of an infected computer include:

    • Frequent pop-up windows, especially those urging you to visit specific websites or download software.

    • Changes to your homepage.

    • Frequent crashes.

    • Unknown programs launching at system startup.

How to Protect Yourself
  • "If you're worried about being monitored or spied on through a camera or microphone, the best course of action is to physically remove these devices or block them with appropriate hardware and software. For example, you can cover your laptop camera with a sticker," suggests Sven Fassbender, an information security specialist.

  • According to Manuela Sonderegger, the risk can be significantly minimized by the following protective measures:

    • Immediately set your own password when using a device for the first time. Use a complex password with at least 12 characters, including numbers, letters, and special characters.

    • If possible, use a second factor for authentication.

    • IoT devices should always be updated, so install all necessary updates immediately.

    • IoT devices, such as webcams, SmartTVs, or printers, should not be accessible over the internet unless necessary for their use.

    • If internet access is necessary, further risk-minimizing measures should be taken. Options include securing internet access to the IoT device with a VPN connection or limiting access from the internet using an IP address filter, allowing access only from specific IP addresses, or using a Geo-IP filter.

What You Can Do
  • Legal expert Christian Lenz from the law firm Lenz & Caduff advises taking action if you fall victim to this.

  • "The internet connection to the affected device should be immediately disconnected, and the device should be handed over to the police," he states.

  • You can also file a police report. However, the chances of holding the perpetrators accountable are slim.

  • "Pursuing perpetrators in the digital realm is very difficult since they first have to be located, and they often do not reside in Europe," Lenz explains.

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