data protectExperts have warned that people need to be less “naive” when handing access to their computer or connected device to third parties.

Remote Access Trojans (RATs) – software that allows third parties to spy on a computer remotely – are already present on countless computers, and specialists say that it is relatively simple to use RATs to turn on webcams and other surveillance devices.

ESET Senior Research Fellow David Harley said he used to regularly receive queries from women who said they were being spied on by the appropriately-named RATs, adding that the scope for this abuse has increased as devices with built-in cameras have exploded in popularity.

Liberman Sofware vice-president Calum MacLeod argued that IT-savvy neighbours cannot necessarily be trusted to perform IT repairs. He suggested that a huge number of computers in the UK are online almost all of the time, and most of these have full administrative privileges turned on. Cyber-criminals don’t even need to be invited into a house to breach its internet security, he pointed out, saying “they can do it from next door.”

Therefore, it’s best for people to use professionals for gadget repairs – the man next door could be a hacker or voyeur, and not everyone who says they can fix a broken computer deserves to be fully trusted.

A ne’er-do-well needs to merely search for software that allows remote access to victims’ computers online – software that can also be used for benign reasons – to find the right tool to enable them to turn on someone’s webcam, monitor their keystrokes and potentially leave damage and devastation in their wake.

The experts said that people should be also better-educated on the technology in use nowadays; many people do not know what software comes pre-installed on their devices, nor do they consider how these tools could be turned against them by untrustworthy sources.

You can put your trust in Gadget Cover – take out a gadget insurance policy with us and when you send in your broken device, you know it’s in safe hands. Professionals like us stake both our reputations and our bottom lines on absolute honesty – can you say the same about an acquaintance that is ‘good with computers’?