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There are plenty of people — not just the NSA or FBI, but also creeps, criminals, teachers and creditors — who will use your webcam, and also your computer's microphone, to spy on you.In 2010, two high school students near Philadelphia sued their local school district because school personnel had activated the anti-theft software on their school-issued Mac Books and secretly photographed the students at home.Most laptops with built-in cameras have an important privacy feature — a light that is supposed to turn on any time the camera is in use.But Wolf says she never saw the light on her laptop go on.The spying came to light when the school tried to discipline one student for alleged drug dealing at home.The district admitted that thousands of photos had been taken of dozens of students, and settled the cases for 0,000.MORE: 7 Ways to Lock Down Your Online Privacy In 2011, Luis Mijangos, a Southern California man confined to a wheelchair, was sentenced to six years in prison for using webcam malware to spy on more than 100 women and girls, nearly half of whom were under 18.(He also used the microphones to record audio.) Mijangos would "sextort" the victims, contacting them and threatening to make public the nude images and videos he had unless the women voluntarily posed for more.
The photos had been taken over a period of several months — without her knowledge — by the built-in camera on her laptop.
Experience from the front lines Every day, DMCA.com's professional staff handle takedown cases for clients who have found their personal and very intimate pictures, or videos, published online on for all to see. Almost always their reputation has been severely impacted by the online publication of these deeply personal photos or videos.
Shockingly, in most cases, these very intimate, personal pictures or videos were found online by family, friends or even coworkers.
Every online scam begins more or less the same—a random e-mail, a sketchy attachment.
But every so often, a new type of hacker comes along. He secretly burrows his way into your hard drive, then into your life. It was a Saturday night, not much happening in her Long Beach, California, neighborhood, so high school senior Melissa Young was home messing around on her computer.