Target 11 investigates predators' new way of spying on victims



Target 11 uncovered this week that predators have a new way of watching your every move.

Channel  11’s consumer investigator, Robin Taylor, learned firsthand how easy it is for a hacker to spy on you without you even knowing it.

Computer expert Frank Trama said most people are leaving themselves vulnerable to these predators without realizing it. Most people are likely to get distracted while they are using the computer, walk away from it and leave the computer on. Trama said that is what these criminals are counting on because they can log on remotely and tap into your webcam.

“It happens more than you think,” said Trama, who is the president and co-founder of Viper Network Systems.

Experts said teenagers are a prime target of predators spying on intimate moments - sometimes even recording them - and then uploading that material on the Internet.

Trama said within minutes, these predators can hack into a laptop and control the webcam remotely.

According to Trama, if you are not paying close attention to your screen, it simply appears that your computer has gone to sleep. He said there is nothing to indicate that you are being spied on except for a tiny light next to the webcam.

Trama said spyware used to hack into a webcam is easy to accidentally install and can be downloaded with music or software, or may come as a virus in an email.

“Some of them are pretty clever,” said Trama. “They’ll pop up on you and make it look like I want to run a scan on your computer and you click on it and it’s actually installing something on your system.”

Trama said the best way to protect yourself is to put tape over the webcam or simply shutdown your computer.

“When I’m done, I close the laptop,” said Trama.