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Drew
Drew, Network Specialist
Category: Networking
Satisfied Customers: 137
Experience:  Using 30+ years of experience to help you get it working.
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Is it possible that someone hacks in your webcam and records

Customer Question

Hello, Is it possible that someone hacks in your webcam and records it while using a hotel wifi? Its a well known 5 star hotel, so I'm assuming they use the latest softwares. I also use VPN, I'm paranoid about such stuff and my imagination and thoughts
are killing me.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Networking
Expert:  Drew replied 1 year ago.

Well anything is possible but it's highly unlikely that someone would even want to do so. And then to do so, something on your laptop would have to be listening to accept a web cam connection. And if you have a firewall on your laptop which restricts connections TO your laptop, then it would be highly unlikely that anyone could get in.

If you're running a Windows computer, the built in Windows Firewall should provide all the protection you need to keep people out. Or if you've installed another firewall, that should do it too.

And the above is only even a concern if the hotel wifi allows devices to see each other on it's network. If their network is secure, they should have it configured such that devices can't connect to each other on the wifi.

So all in all, you have little worry about in my opinion.

Cheers,

Drew

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
the VPN doesn't do any difference? I thought that i help keep you safe from data theft.
I'm using a mac.
Expert:  Drew replied 1 year ago.

The VPN encrypts communication between your Mac and whatever you connect to. So yes, VPN helps keep your communications safe as it's encrypted and can't be viewed on the network. But that's a different kind of protection than someone connecting to your Mac and accessing it.

Does that make sense?

Cheers,

Drew

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Not really, I'm not really good in computers so I'm not actually understanding everything you say
Expert:  Drew replied 1 year ago.

Let me see if I can throw a quick drawing together to make it easier to understand... Please give me about 15 min or so.

Expert:  Drew replied 1 year ago.

Please see the attachment.

Even though VPN goes through the internet, logically it is like a direct connection to that web server that's encrypted an private. Only you and the web server can see inside that connection. Thus "someone else" can't see that communication.

However for the possibility of "someone else" connecting to your Mac, that connection would be outside of the VPN and via the hotel wifi. So if your Mac firewall has been enabled, the firewall blocks attempts to connect from "someone else" to your Mac.

Here's a link describing how to enable the Mac firewall:

http://www.howtogeek.com/205108/your-mac%E2%80%99s-firewall-is-off-by-default-do-you-need-to-enable-it/

Please let me know if this makes sense now.

Cheers,

Drew

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
But is it easy to hack into a mac through a hotel wifi portal?
Like i just want to know the possibilities, i dont want to keep thinking about much details it would make it worse for me.
Expert:  Drew replied 1 year ago.

In my opinion, you don't have to worry about it. You should ask the hotel if it runs its wifi in "isolation mode". If it does, then other devices can't even see yours.

Cheers,

Drew

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
On their portal homepage, where you need to enter your room number to connect, there is a faqs button, i clicked it and found this:How secure is the connection?Very Secure! Guest-Tek provides security on two levels: Between hotel rooms and between your laptop and the Internet. Each guest room and meeting room features a secure, fast, and private connection to the GlobalSuite server only. This private tunnel ensures no one from another room can determine what you are doing online. Laptop-to-Internet security is provided via a firewall that blocks unauthorized access to the network.What do you think? Is it safe? Are my worried invalid?
Expert:  Drew replied 1 year ago.

You're safe then as they are describing isolation mode. Nothing to worry about.

Cheers,

Drew

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
my worry can't happen? It seems that guest-tek is a leading hotel network provider
Expert:  Drew replied 1 year ago.

In my opinion, there is a greater chance the sun won't rise tomorrow than you getting hacked on that network. :)

Cheers,

Drew

Expert:  Drew replied 1 year ago.

Hi. Hopefully your trip went well and you avoided any issues. Are there any further questions I can answer to earn an excellent rating?

Cheers,

Drew

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