This morning I learned about a security threat called clickjacking, in which a hacker can get you to willingly and unknowingly give complete control of your web cam.
I'm sure the same hack can be applied to other types of software/hardware — basically giving control of whatever is connected to your PC.
There is a YouTube video linked in the article. Be sure that you look at it, so you can see how it happens.
This security threat underscores a basic problem that has nothing to do with technology — it has to do with behavior. Namely, your behavior.
It is simple to avoid these kind of threats, and it doesn't cost anything, and it doesn't involve installation of any software.
It involves modifying your behavior to stop clicking on things.
Is there really a need for you to waste the next ten minutes clicking on an animated monkey? (Or whatever other dopey "games" they come up with.)
When you see those things, whether you stumble on them from Google, or if you get an e-mail with a link to it, or if a friend says, "You really have to try this out," your response should be to simply ignore it, or in the case of e-mail, delete the e-mail without even considering clicking on the link.
If you can't find the intestinal fortitude to do that, then you will have a peeping tom watching you through your web cam. Or maybe a thief looking at your online bank account or stealing your credit card number.
If you don't want that to happen, then stop clicking on dopey stuff.
Here's the link to the article. Please do yourself a favor and read it through to the end — then make sure to watch the YouTube clip.