Survey by Kaspersky, a multinational cybersecurity company, revealed that nearly a quarter (23%) of online users always give apps and services permission to access their microphone or webcam. The survey was conducted on 15 thousand people globally in the period from September to October.
Most permissions come from users aged 25-34 years (27 percent). Meanwhile, users with older demographics appear to be more cautious. As many as 38 percent of users aged 55 years and over, for example, stated that they never gave access to a microphone or camera on any services or applications.
The good news is that the results of this survey are accompanied by a fairly high level of security awareness webcam overall. Nearly six in ten (59%) are concerned that someone could be watching them via webcam without realizing it, and 60% are aware that this could be done via malicious software.
“This suggests the possibility of more people proactively protecting their technology in the future as they begin to adapt to remote work and collaborative application roles,” said Marina Titova, Head of Consumer Product Marketing at Kaspersky, in a written statement shared Friday, March 26. 2021.
He cited the dependence of the world community on video conferencing applications over the past year because of the Covid-19 pandemic. He called the rapid growth of the application to cause a shortage of webcam supply in almost all over the world.
According to Kaspersky, the best way to balance vigilance while taking advantage of these modern means of communication is to make careful consideration of the applications and services used. The trick is to read carefully whatever permissions are requested.
“For example, if a video calling app has camera permissions, it makes sense. But if there are apps without the relevant functionality requesting access to the microphone without justifiable reason, it might be better to investigate and study the permissions further,” said Marina.
In order to feel more secure when using the webcam and ensure that enhanced virtual communication aligns with the people protecting their privacy and security, Kaspersky provides the following suggestions:
1. Using a simple and dedicated webcam cover to provide a feeling of calm and comfort when the appliance is not in use.
2. Uses an effective security solution that offers advanced protection and covers multiple devices including PC, Mac, Android, and iOS devices. Applications such as Kaspersky Security Cloud can be an option to protect against unauthorized access to the microphone.
3. Analyze the apps that you currently allow to access the webcam or microphone, and remove permissions if they are not relevant.
Also read: Mobdro app turned Android devices into cybercriminal proxies
4. To gain an in-depth understanding of online privacy in social networks, you can use features such as the proprietary Privacy Checker Kaspersky. It claims to be a simple tool that explains each setting on the selected social network and provides advice on different privacy level settings on different platforms.