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Windows 7: Am I being watched?


07 Nov 2010   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium
 
 
Am I being watched?

Hello,

My firewall (ZoneAlarm Free 9.3.14.0) & iTunes don't play nicely together. If I try to transfer downloaded apps from iTunes 9.2.0.61 to my 32GB iPod Tough (3rd Gen) I get multiple transfer errors. If I shut down ZoneAlarm, the apps transfer without issue. 2 Days ago, after transferring some apps to my iPod, I restarted the Notebook & when I reached the desktop, a popup bubble near the clock informs me that my inbuilt webcam drivers have been installed & my device is ready to use. I never have & nor will I ever have any intention of using the webcam. I have never looked for anything connected to or made any setting changes to the webcam.

I have heard & read a little bit about people taking control of Notebook webcams & was wondering if I should be concerned. My (Toshiba) Notebook is connected to the internet via a Netgear Wireless Modem.

When I purchased the Notebook (Brand New) 2 months ago (Windows 7 pre-installed), I deleted the hidden & backup partitions & reformatted the hard drive. I have had NO popup bubbles regarding the webcam during this time.

The only new piece of software I have recently installed is FireShot 0.87 a screen capture plug-in for Firefox.

Thanks,
Shantelle.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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08 Nov 2010   #2
Microsoft MVP

 

Likely a driver was installed which started up your webcam. Simply click on its listing in All Programs and turn it off everywhere possible in its Preferences or Options.

Check also in msconfig>Startup that everything is unchecked besides your AV and gadgets. Anything else is a freeloader on startup, RAM and CPU and can spy on you. http://www.sevenforums.com/crashes-d...-msconfig.html

We do not recommend ZoneAlarm here as it doesn't play well with Windows 7. Windows 7 works seamlessly with MS Security Essentials for AV and the Windows 7 firewall. You won't have any problems at all as they become invisible and are fortified by Windows Update set to Auto-Update.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Nov 2010   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, XP Mode, W8.1 Preview VM - 7 Pro x64 second remote tower
 
 

The free version of ZA is total crap to start with! Commodo, Jetico Personal are a pair of older alternatives over ZA as far as freebies. The MS SE lacks any firewall in that and typically the Windows firewall has never been at the best while that is stll far improved over ZA!

For the webcam issue Windows automatically detected that and installed the basics for it from the start. The Control Panel would be one place as well as a look in the device manager for seeing that disabled completely. If you find the item listed in the DM simply right click on it and choose the disable not uninstall option in the right click menu. That prevents any further updates for it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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08 Nov 2010   #4

Winbdows 7 ultimate x64 | Ubuntu 12.04 x64 LTS
 
 

I'm assuming that you deleted the recovery partition as you already have a recovery disc with you. No? Regarding the webcam, you can disable it via device manager.. If your concerned about someone spying on you via webcam, you can use Zemana antilogger to block such intrusion attempts. It does its job very nicely.Edit: Seems that NightHawk and me were typing at the same time.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Nov 2010   #5

Windows 7 Professional 32-bit///Vista Home Premium 32-bit
 
 

If you're really paranoid about it. just stick a little round sticky dot over the lens. LOL!

Block them......guerilla style.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Nov 2010   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, XP Mode, W8.1 Preview VM - 7 Pro x64 second remote tower
 
 

With some laptops you not only see the web cam itself but also a built in microphone. You will want to insure the audio part is also disabled to prevent any voice over web as sound can still be picked up. Generally the privacy settings for any messenger service used like Windows Live Messenger, MSN , AOL, or some other will allow you to select the privacy levels such as not showing you have a web cam connected.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Nov 2010   #7

windows 7
 
 

i don't use webcam so i use a piece of paper to cover it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Nov 2010   #8

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

As stated before simply disable the camera and microphone in the device manager. this is the simplest answer to your question.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Nov 2010   #9

Windows 7 Home Premium
 
 

Thanks for all the responses. I located the webcam and disabled it. I feel much safer now. I have also been considering an alternate firewall to ZoneAlarm for a while now. Thanks for the recommendations. I will check them out.

Shantelle.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Nov 2010   #10

Winbdows 7 ultimate x64 | Ubuntu 12.04 x64 LTS
 
 

Your welcome... Glad we could help.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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