Your smartphone camera deserves better protection than a band-aid - Protection d’appareil photo, Protezione fotocamera

Your smartphone camera deserves better protection than a band-aid

Do you know who’s looking at you through your smartphone camera? The newly updated Avira Antivirus Security app answers that question and more by giving you direct control over your phone’s camera.

Avira Antivirus Security does to smartphones what notable individuals such as Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and ex-FBI director James Comey are already doing with their laptops – blocking out the webcam. And even better, as Avira Antivirus Security is the only antivirus security app that lets you block out the camera(s) without using a patch, it’s all done for you internally.

Camera patches have big name support

Placing a band-aid or tape over the laptop camera is an established security practice. Former FBI Director James Comey has even recommended blocking the webcam. “There’s some sensible things you should be doing, and that’s one of them,” he stated. That’s one real physical security patch – and there are real reasons for it. Hacked computer cameras have been used in everything from sextortion attempts on beauty queens to taking pictures of people while they were watching Nextflix – then posting photos on the victim’s Facebook page.

Moving from laptops to smartphones

But people now spend more online time with their smartphones than with their laptops. You’ve got to wonder if Comey and others are putting a similar patch on smartphone cameras to prevent anyone from filming their private motions. And you also wonder if they – or anyone, for that matter – really know how many apps on their phone have been empowered to use the camera?

Camera security that goes beyond the band-aid

Amazingly many apps for Android smartphones require access to the built-in camera – and could spy on you. This starts with some flashlight apps, extends to chat apps like WhatsApp, social media like Facebook, and ends with the eBay app. For many apps, it may make sense to allow them access to the camera, but not for all. And even for the apps that need the camera for a certain task, many users don’t want to permanently allow this access.

Looking forward to the benefits of a new app, many users will most likely give it camera access without thinking about the consequences on their privacy. A Facebook patent discovered in June 2017 suggests that social media giant is considering secretly watching and recording users through their device camera. It’s just one more reason to be cautious with giving permission to use the smartphone camera. If you don’t want to use a band-aid to protect your privacy, the new Camera Protection feature in Avira’s Antivirus Security for Android is the right solution.

This feature conveniently gives you the final word over who can access your smartphone camera by locking out intrusive or hacked apps. Camera Protection takes a deep look at your privacy issues by telling you which apps have access to your camera – even for system apps like Android Pay or Google Play Services that are not visible on the device’s home screen. Blocking both the front-facing and the rear-facing camera for all applications is just a start.

Via whitelisting you can define your trusted apps that can access the camera. With the Quick Access Widget you can then use the trusted apps’ camera easily. Camera access will be given only while you are using this app actively and then stopped. This will prevent your smartphone camera from spying on you and reducing your potential online exposure from unauthorized pictures and videos.

Camera Protection is part of a full-featured security and anti-theft package

Camera Protection is just one of several new and updated features of Avira Antivirus Security. The latest version of the app enables users to manage the Anti-Theft features from other Android devices – without having to go all the way home to the Avira Connect Dashboard on their desktop computer. They just need to first register these other devices from within the app on their phone. Then, when an “event” happens, such as a lost or stolen phone, the other device can be used to immediately activate the Anti-Theft features.

These features include triggering a loud yell which helps you to find your phone under the couch… or in someone else’s pocket. You can also track the device’s location on a map in case you lost it or it was stolen, and you can lock the device remotely so that no one can access it. It can be unlocked either remotely, from another Android device, or the Avira Connect Dashboard. Ultimately, you can remotely wipe all sensitive content from your phone, including emails, credit card details, and text messages.

Of course, Avira Antivirus Security is also on the lookout for malicious code that can damage your device and steal your private data by automatically scanning apps and external storage units for hidden malware. Other Avira Antivirus Security features include Privacy Advisor for rating each app’s potential impact on your security and Web Protection warning you if a visited URL is malicious or is a phishing site. This feature is powered by the AI-powered Avira Protection Cloud. It works together with the default browser on your device, in addition to Firefox, Google Chrome, and Opera.

Security sized for you

Avira Antivirus Security is designed to make online life easier and more secure. Avira Antivirus Security can be downloaded from Avira.com and at Google Play. The basic version is completely free with the Pro (including the new Camera Protection and Anti-Theft features) variant available for 7,95 Euro.

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Avira, a company with over 100 million customers and more than 500 employees, is a worldwide leading supplier of self-developed security solutions for professional and private use. With more than 25 years of experience, the company is a pioneer in its field.