There’s no way around it. By now, we all know that people can be pretty sketchy online. But every day we learn more and more just how sketchy some of these people can be. For example: You’re probably well aware of “conspiracy theories” that the government can spy on us via our webcams. Well, turns out that it’s probably not the government that you should be worrying about. But you should maybe be worried anyways.

Young woman showing “hello” gesture to somebody talking by Skype

The most common webcam hacks are actually by people you know — maybe. According to How-To Geek, most people hacking into computers are low-key hackers — a lot of which are just creepy Peeping Toms. This doesn’t mean the government isn’t spying into computers, it just means the government is probably not what most of us need to be worrying about. But you’ve got a couple ways to protect yourself.

If you’re super serious about your cyber security and don’t want to take any chances EVER, you can completely disable your webcam. For directions on how to do that for your laptops with webcams installed inside of them, click here. Although, fair warning: It’s a bit of an involved process and can be a pain in the butt to undo.

Young hipster girl working on laptop

If you’re still a sucker for the ol’ Photobooth selfie, you may want to consider something a little less permanent for your webcam. We HIGHLY recommend covering your camera somehow. Some people choose to do this with tape, but sometimes the adhesive can damage your camera lens. If you’re in the mood to DIY your own lens cover, stick two pieces of electrical tape to each other (sticky sides together) but make one of the pieces longer than the other. The smooth side of the shorter piece should go up against your camera, and use the longer edges to stick the whole thing to your computer. It’s a super easy, effective and reversible way to protect yourself.

Final tip: Make sure you’ve got Antivirus installed on your computer. Although it’s not a perfect solution — and it won’t detect absolutely everything that tries to gain access to your computer — it will catch a lot.

How do you protect yourself online? Let us know @BritandCo!

(Photos via Getty)