Sunday, September 29, 2013

Internet 'Sextortion' - How to prevent being recorded online without your knowledge.

September 29th, 2013

This is a sensitive topic I think needs to be talked about.

Laptop webcam
The arrest of Jarred Abraham (link) is a BIG +1 in the fight to protect people's privacy in this world of advanced tech being in the hands of everyday people. It's unfortunate that it took a high profile person like Miss Teen to bring it into the national spotlight. I for one commend her for being so brave in coming forward to catch this predator. Hopefully A LOT of awareness will come out of it and those who should be paying attention, will take heed.

I won't rant about what we already know. What Jarred did is vile and shameful. He should be prosecuted based on what is known. If it is fair and the evidence is true, he should be made an example of. He is a grown man, he knew full well what he was doing and to commit the crime as many times as he did, it was not just some harmless prank. I have a feeling he will not do so well in a prison community filled with Dads who have young daughters in their lives. That should be a wake up call to the other perpetrators who do this and think they will not get caught.

What I did not like about the CNN article is that it does not mention any means to prevent this even in the simplest of forms. This is a worldwide story. CNN had the perfect chance to get the word out to help those who this might happen to and they blew it.

The simple answer is this. If you own a device like a laptop or computer with a webcam, keep it covered at all times when not in use!!! This is the most significant way to stop these creatures in their tracks. There is no hack or work around to get by a piece of paper taped over the webcam eye. When you plan to use it, flip the paper off the cam. Replace it when you're done. Using a post-it works as well. That's the first step. The second is to educate your daughters, sisters, mothers about not sharing files from unknown sources on the web. Chatrooms are especially notorious for finding victims. "Oh hey, here is a picture of my kitty cat.... want to see?"  The malware used in these crimes is often passed just that way... attached to a seemingly harmless image or video or file. Do not access links sent by people in chatrooms or emails. Period. It's not worth it. Don't do it!!

The bottom line over all is to keep the lid on the laptop closed or camera covered when you walk away. Get in the habit of doing this and you won't be a victim. 

Here is a link to items that may help 

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