Digital Vulnerability: The dangers of webcams

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This week we are bringing you stories that ask the question: "Just how vulnerable are you in today's digital world." The reality is more than you probably think.

This installment focuses on webcams. Could someone be watching and you'd never know it? The answer? You bet they can.

Anywhere you find those tiny little lenses, someone is capable of recording, maybe even streaming video and sound of you.

But would you know it?

In the hands of the wrong person, the worst imaginable is possible.

Webcams are everywhere.  On your tablet, your iPad, your smartphone, your nanny cam in your nursery. Those are the ones you know about and largely forget about. But should you?

You think those lenses are a window to the world. A “white hat hacker” like Jerry Irvine says those lenses can be a window into your world when you're not even aware. Even in sleep mode, Irvine says, a black, blank screen gives a “black hat hacker” the ability to watch and record.  And you have no idea.

A smart TV with voice command. Is it smarter than we are?

Samsung has admitted its SMART TV's have the ability to record, store and pass on data to third parties. Why? The go-to tech website CNET says it's typically to make money, not to exploit you personally.

But for the bad guys, it’s all about gaining access to your wireless network.

For Irvine, that takes minutes at the most. All he needs is a sneaky way to get your user ID and password.

Laptop and personal computer have webcams too. Who's on the other end? Even the head of the FBI isn't sure. And he can't be too careful. Speaking last month at Kenyon College, Director James Comey admitted he tapes over his own webcam lens. Yes, he uses tape.

Making Comey and the rest of us even more vulnerable, these devices are often tied to the cloud. What's recorded and stored is only as safe as the user who sent it there.

Just ask actress Jennifer Lawrence. Nude photos of her and other celebrities who were hacked from the cloud and posted on line. When the average person's password is "PASSWORD" OR "Q-W-E-R-T-Y"... The top line of your keyboard, consider changing it because black hat hackers aren't after your heirlooms or even your favorite photos.  They want more. And they know how to get it.

You may not be the only one using your webcam in your baby's nursery?

A Minnesota couple was shocked to learn their nanny cam was spying on them from overseas. And in Texas, a sitter was "terrified" when a hacker used a nanny cam to talk to her. A wireless network with weak passwords could unknowingly land your baby online.