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What they can do though, is systematically scan a network for vulnerable operating systems and automatically inject a Trojan if something useful is found.

Better still – don’t plug a camera into the Internet, and if you absolutely must, then ensure you register the device with the manufacturer’s website so that should a security breach occur, you’ll be the first to know about it and able to take action.

Without wishing to scare you, the short answer is: it’s very easy for anyone to view your webcam.

The long answer is: some networked webcams require nothing more than a secret URL, while most USB or built-in laptop webcams would need the computer to be compromised first.

In 2013, Daniel Perry committed suicide hours after receiving an online message saying images or video would be made public and shared with his friends and family if he didn't pay money into an account.

If you've used a dating site or app like Ok Cupid or Tinder, you'll have noticed the hundreds of fake profiles that exist on the sites, seemingly designed to make you hand over your profile to scammers.

The trouble is of course, that bugs such as this can be in the wild for years before anyone has the slightest clue – as was the case with the recent Heart Bleed Open SSL bug.

Hacked networked cameras are one thing – they’re designed to broadcast their images anyway, just not normally to the entire world – but is it possible to access any old regular laptop webcam? The good news is that generally speaking, no, a hacker can’t simply sit here and type in a URL to look at your webcam.

Particular models of TRENDnet cameras that have since been patched and are no longer sold (though thousands remain in use) were vulnerable to the degree that any sane person would find terrifying: you need only know the public IP address of the camera.