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Old 10th July 2019, 09:30 AM   #1
isissxn
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Norton and Webcam - Paranoid, Please Help

My Norton antivirus software did a big update this morning, and finally seems to be finished. Since then, however, I have gotten 3 little pop-ups (from Norton) in the corner of my screen that say, "Webcam access attempted by Google Chrome" with a little green checkmark. I have no idea what the hell this means, and I have never seen it before. Is someone trying to spy on me?

I'm not using the camera, and I haven't used it for days. I just don't need this **** right now. I've just been coming down off a MAJOR anxiety and paranoia bender, and I'm about ready to toss my computer in a dumpster rather than deal with any more bull ****.

I tried googling that exact phrase in quotes, but I didn't get anything helpful. What should I do? Does anyone know what it means?


EDIT: I've turned on Norton's VPN (didn't know it was an option before, or I would have done it sooner), and I've taped a card over the camera. But is this normal, or should I be concerned?

Last edited by isissxn; 10th July 2019 at 09:31 AM.
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Old 10th July 2019, 09:39 AM   #2
William Parcher
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Calm down.

My guess is that in your computer settings you have allowed Chrome to access your camera.

Norton is just telling you something you are already supposed to know about.

You can refuse access to your camera by Chrome, and any other app or program.
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Old 10th July 2019, 09:44 AM   #3
isissxn
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I was hoping that, but why is it doing it randomly when I'm not using the camera? And why did it pop up 3 times? Something to do with the update?

Insert "OH MAN I am not good with computers plz to help" meme here.
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Old 10th July 2019, 09:47 AM   #4
William Parcher
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This new Norton update... it's giving you a notification that it didn't give before. It could be a new feature, or it could have changed a Norton setting.

If it continues to annoy you go into Norton settings to look for a way to shut off that notification.
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Old 10th July 2019, 09:48 AM   #5
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Is this Windows 10?
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Old 10th July 2019, 10:20 AM   #6
Armitage72
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
Is this Windows 10?
Ugh. I hate that.
Do you want to let apps access your webcam? Y/N
Do you want to let apps access your email? Y/N
Do you want to let apps access your photo library? Y/N
Do you want to let apps send a full record of everything you type to Microsoft? Y/N
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Old 10th July 2019, 12:37 PM   #7
isissxn
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Yes, it's Windows 10. The alert hasn't popped up anymore since I made my post. Either the hackers realized I was onto them (lol), or it was just some sort of configuration occurring because of the update. Windows itself just did a big update last evening. I hope it didn't reset any of the privacy settings I had in place.
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Old 10th July 2019, 12:44 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by isissxn View Post
My Norton antivirus software did a big update this morning, and finally seems to be finished. Since then, however, I have gotten 3 little pop-ups (from Norton) in the corner of my screen that say, "Webcam access attempted by Google Chrome" with a little green checkmark. I have no idea what the hell this means, and I have never seen it before. Is someone trying to spy on me?

I'm not using the camera, and I haven't used it for days. I just don't need this **** right now. I've just been coming down off a MAJOR anxiety and paranoia bender, and I'm about ready to toss my computer in a dumpster rather than deal with any more bull ****.

I tried googling that exact phrase in quotes, but I didn't get anything helpful. What should I do? Does anyone know what it means?


EDIT: I've turned on Norton's VPN (didn't know it was an option before, or I would have done it sooner), and I've taped a card over the camera. But is this normal, or should I be concerned?
If you're concenred about somebody spying on you using your webcam, the low-tech solution is to put a piece of tape over the lens. That way, even if somebody does manage to access your webcam, they won't see anything.
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Old 10th July 2019, 05:17 PM   #9
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Yeah, I have done that now. I'm pretty sure at this point that nothing shady was happening earlier, but still, it was a good reminder to take some precautions! After all, what can it hurt? Mark Zuckerberg covers his.

I was worried that tape would harm the lens, so I put a little piece of card over it and taped around the sides.
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Old 10th July 2019, 05:49 PM   #10
Babbylonian
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Originally Posted by isissxn View Post
Yeah, I have done that now. I'm pretty sure at this point that nothing shady was happening earlier, but still, it was a good reminder to take some precautions! After all, what can it hurt? Mark Zuckerberg covers his.

I was worried that tape would harm the lens, so I put a little piece of card over it and taped around the sides.
Unless you're using some special, particularly caustic type of tape it'll be fine. In fact, even transparent tape will typically distort the image so much that the webcam is useless.
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Old 11th July 2019, 06:06 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by isissxn View Post
Yeah, I have done that now. I'm pretty sure at this point that nothing shady was happening earlier, but still, it was a good reminder to take some precautions! After all, what can it hurt? Mark Zuckerberg covers his.

I was worried that tape would harm the lens, so I put a little piece of card over it and taped around the sides.
Originally Posted by Babbylonian View Post
Unless you're using some special, particularly caustic type of tape it'll be fine. In fact, even transparent tape will typically distort the image so much that the webcam is useless.
If you're worried, they sell little camera cover things specifically for this:
https://www.amazon.com/s?k=webcam+co...f=nb_sb_noss_2 3 pack for $8

https://www.walmart.com/search/?cat_...y=webcam+cover 3 pack for $6.40
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Old 11th July 2019, 07:07 AM   #12
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Chrome probably checks the camera periodically in the background, just to make sure it's there if you launch some web app that needs it.
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Old 11th July 2019, 07:36 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Chrome probably checks the camera periodically in the background, just to make sure it's there if you launch some web app that needs it.
This. Most likely it does an initialization check to make sure the device you've selected for video is present and functional, so it can warn you if it isn't there. That likely triggered the alert from Norton because Chrome was accessing you camera...just not to do anything with it.
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Old 11th July 2019, 07:24 PM   #14
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It is not paranoia by any means to cover the camera.

I mentioned in another computer thread recently that two of my friends had photos of themselves that were taken with their own camera sent to them by people trying to trick them out of money. It happens a lot.
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Old 11th July 2019, 08:13 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by mgidm86 View Post
It is not paranoia by any means to cover the camera.

I mentioned in another computer thread recently that two of my friends had photos of themselves that were taken with their own camera sent to them by people trying to trick them out of money. It happens a lot.
Thank you for making me feel less crazy!

I definitely feel better staring down that little piece of card than the camera eye.
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Old 11th July 2019, 09:35 PM   #16
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My phones are too old or cheap to have the screen side camera. I choose them intentionally.

My old XP desktop got hacked where another could remote my camera. We just did a ground up reset and hard disk format to fix it. I found pictures in my album of stuff taken when nobody was at the computer.
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Old 15th July 2019, 11:57 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by isissxn View Post
Thank you for making me feel less crazy!

I definitely feel better staring down that little piece of card than the camera eye.
Clearly no reason to feel crazy. This is trending:

HP's new Spectre laptops have a webcam kill switch to protect you from creeps

There are multiple hits for a "webcam kill switch" search.
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Old 16th July 2019, 12:59 AM   #18
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NordVpn about whose VPN I've heard good things have an article



https://nordvpn.com/blog/tell-if-laptop-camera-hacked/
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Old 17th July 2019, 07:55 AM   #19
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Hahaha - so last night, I go to video chat with my boy, and oh no! Something is wrong with the connection. I can see him, but he can't see me. The image is fuzzy around the edges but mostly just black. We disconnect and reconnect several times. Still no image. What the hell? I'm just about ready to amp up the fretting, when... oh.

*sheepishly pulls off the card taped over the camera, which has obviously been right in front of my face the whole time*

Dean's List, everybody!
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Old 17th July 2019, 11:37 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by isissxn View Post
Hahaha - so last night, I go to video chat with my boy, and oh no! Something is wrong with the connection. I can see him, but he can't see me. The image is fuzzy around the edges but mostly just black. We disconnect and reconnect several times. Still no image. What the hell? I'm just about ready to amp up the fretting, when... oh.

*sheepishly pulls off the card taped over the camera, which has obviously been right in front of my face the whole time*

Dean's List, everybody!
My Computer Hardware teacher always told us, "Check the physical, check the physical, check the physical."
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Old 18th July 2019, 06:38 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by isissxn View Post
Hahaha - so last night, I go to video chat with my boy, and oh no! Something is wrong with the connection. I can see him, but he can't see me. The image is fuzzy around the edges but mostly just black. We disconnect and reconnect several times. Still no image. What the hell? I'm just about ready to amp up the fretting, when... oh.

*sheepishly pulls off the card taped over the camera, which has obviously been right in front of my face the whole time*

Dean's List, everybody!
Originally Posted by plague311 View Post
My Computer Hardware teacher always told us, "Check the physical, check the physical, check the physical."
Yep.

Don't feel bad.

I can't think of a computer professional anywhere that hasn't had at least one episode where they've spent 45+ minutes trying to troubleshoot some issue, only to realize that the power cord was unplugged (or the USB cable, or the power switch was flipped, or something similar).

We're allowed a certain number of those annually
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Old 31st March 2020, 09:01 AM   #22
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Norton WebCam popup, and Norton 'Fix Now' not working

I had the same problem as others have noted.

A 'loop' of a Norton popup reporting a webcam access request, and a separate notice that my virus definitions were out of date. 'Fix now' did not work, with no info as to why, of course . After a few failed attempts, I noticed that my webcam was plugged in (it usually is not), because with Covid-19 requirement to stay in my house as much as possible, I had been using video chats to 'talk' to people.
So I unplugged it, and was able to do the Norton update successfully, and get rid of the annoying popup, and actually update my antivirus definitions.
Hope my experience helps others ( You may just have to 'disable' your built-in camera, in 'Settings', I don't know ).
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Old 31st March 2020, 09:10 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by MikeJ View Post
I had the same problem as others have noted.

A 'loop' of a Norton popup reporting a webcam access request, and a separate notice that my virus definitions were out of date. 'Fix now' did not work, with no info as to why, of course . After a few failed attempts, I noticed that my webcam was plugged in (it usually is not), because with Covid-19 requirement to stay in my house as much as possible, I had been using video chats to 'talk' to people.
So I unplugged it, and was able to do the Norton update successfully, and get rid of the annoying popup, and actually update my antivirus definitions.
Hope my experience helps others ( You may just have to 'disable' your built-in camera, in 'Settings', I don't know ).
Welcome to the Forums sir!

I didn't know Norton had that feature built in, and I wonder if it's something you can turn off. I can see that becoming tedious for the non-savvy end user.
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