What is a Ratter and How to Protect Yourself from One
A ratter is a term used to describe a person who hacks into other people’s electronic devices and monitors their activities through the cameras. The name comes from the analogy of a rat-catcher, who uses dogs or other means to hunt down and kill rats. A ratter, however, does not kill his or her victims, but rather invades their privacy and often harasses or blackmails them.
Ratters can use various methods to gain access to their targets’ devices, such as phishing emails, malware downloads, or exploiting security vulnerabilities. Once they have control over the device, they can remotely activate the camera and microphone, take screenshots, record keystrokes, steal personal data, and send messages. Ratters often target people they know personally, such as ex-partners, co-workers, or classmates, but they can also randomly select victims online.
One of the most notorious cases of ratter activity was the 2015 film Ratter, which was based on a short film titled Webcam. The film follows Emma Taylor, a graduate student who moves to New York City and becomes the victim of a stalker who hacks into her laptop, phone, and other devices. The stalker watches her every move, sends her threatening messages, kills her cat, and eventually attacks her in her apartment.
While Ratter is a fictional story, it is not far from reality. Many people have reported being spied on by ratters who have accessed their webcams or microphones without their consent. Some ratters even broadcast their victims’ activities on websites or forums for others to watch and comment on. This can have devastating effects on the victims’ mental health, reputation, and safety.
Fortunately, there are some ways to protect yourself from ratters and prevent them from accessing your devices. Here are some tips:
Use strong passwords and change them regularly.
Install antivirus software and keep it updated.
Avoid clicking on suspicious links or attachments in emails or messages.
Cover your webcam with tape or a sticker when not in use.
Disable your microphone or mute it when not needed.
Check your device settings and permissions for any unauthorized changes or applications.
Be careful about what you share online and who you trust.
Ratters are a serious threat to your privacy and security. By following these tips, you can reduce the risk of becoming their prey and protect yourself from their malicious actions.
How to Catch a Ratter
If you suspect that you are being spied on by a ratter, you may want to find out who they are and report them to the authorities. However, this is not an easy task, as ratters often use various techniques to hide their identity and location. Here are some steps you can take to try to catch a ratter:
Collect evidence. The first thing you need to do is to gather as much information as possible about the ratter’s activities. This includes screenshots, recordings, messages, emails, or any other data that can prove that someone is accessing your device without your permission. You can also use tools such as Task Manager or Activity Monitor to see what processes are running on your device and if any of them are suspicious.
Trace the IP address. The next step is to try to find out where the ratter is connecting from. You can use tools such as Wireshark or Fiddler to capture and analyze the network traffic on your device and look for the IP address of the ratter. However, this may not be very accurate, as ratters often use proxies, VPNs, or Tor to mask their real IP address.
Report the ratter. Once you have some evidence and a possible IP address of the ratter, you can report them to the police or the cybercrime unit of your country. You can also contact your internet service provider or the platform where the ratter contacted you and ask them to block or ban the ratter’s account or IP address. However, this may not be enough to stop the ratter from continuing their activities with a different account or IP address.
Catching a ratter is not an easy task, and it may not always be successful. The best way to deal with ratters is to prevent them from accessing your device in the first place by following the tips mentioned above. Remember that your privacy and security are important and that you have the right to protect them from anyone who tries to violate them.