Ever since the first webcams hit the market webcam hacking has been a topic. Hacks use security vulnerabilities, bad designs or carelessness to gain access to a cam's feed over a network or the Internet.
Webcam feeds of thousands of users were made available recently on a website on the Internet and this is just one public incident. It is likely that the majority of hacks don't get publicity at all.
There are counter-measures against hacks. From taping over the cam and microphone to not connecting it in first place.
This helps if you don't plan to use the cam at all but if you use it sometimes, for instance to call someone using Skype or run a show on the Internet, then you may want a flexible solution.
Enter Webcam On-Off. While it is certainly possible to turn the cam on or off in the device manager of the operating system. Webcam Off makes the operation convenient as you press a single button once you have started the application to switch the state of it.
All you need to do is run the program after you have downloaded and unpacked it on your system. It displays the current state of the webcam on the computer and two buttons to enable or disable it.
You find two additional buttons listed in the interface. The toolbox button opens the Windows Device Manager right away while the other the about page of the application.
So, whenever you need to turn the cam on or off you click twice to do so if you use Webcam On-Off to do so.
The developer of the program has added command line switches to it as well which can speed things up further. Run webcam.exe /ON to turn it on or webcam.exe /OFF to disable it.
If you create two new shortcuts and add the parameters to it you can turn your webcam on or off with a single click on the right shortcut.
The program is fully portable and has a size of less than 350 Kilobyte unpacked. It is compatible with all recent versions of Windows including Windows XP and Windows 8.
Webcam On-Off is a useful program for Windows users who use a cam connected to their PC regularly but don't want it to be available when they don't use it.
They keep the cam turned off all the time and enable it only when they want to use it. After they have finished using it they run the program to turn it off again.
Advertising revenue is falling fast across the Internet, and independently-run sites like Ghacks are hit hardest by it. The advertising model in its current form is coming to an end, and we have to find other ways to continue operating this site.
We are committed to keeping our content free and independent, which means no paywalls, no sponsored posts, no annoying ad formats (video ads) or subscription fees.
If you like our content, and would like to help, please consider making a contribution:
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.