Webcam Cover: Paranoia or Necessity

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There are two types of users: those who tape over webcamera and those who do not. Who is in the right and why? Let’s get this sorted out.


Webcam covers block your device’s camera to provide protection against webcam hacks. Webcam covers aren’t just for your laptop, they can be used on smartphones and tablets too! Leaving a camera uncovered on your digital devices could leave you exposed to unwanted surveillance by cybercriminals. Therefore, using a webcam cover is a good idea in order to keep your privacy protected.


Webcam espionage


Is it difficult to hack a webcam? The answer can be scary. Considering the number of YouTube videos, even a schoolkid is able to gain control of your webcam so that they can spy on you through it. Essentially criminals are online Peeping Toms. Using a webcam cover protects against these webcam hacks because the lens is covered, effectively blocking the view of a wannabe hacker.


What type of webcam cover should you use?


The following three options provide protection against webcam hacking. Each option has its own pros and cons.


1. Webcam Cover


Pros: Compatible with all your devices (from your smartphone to your laptop!). Thin and durable. Elegant and professional look. Functional.


Cons: More expensive than a Post-it note or sticker.


 2. Post-it note


Pros: Post-it notes and sticky notes are very inexpensive and easy to find at home or in the office.


Cons: Low long-term durability. Likely to fall off at the worst possible time. Cheap-looking. Low functionality.


3. Sticker


Pros: Inexpensive, easy to find, and cute.


Cons: Low long-term durability. Easy to fall off. Potentially unprofessional looking. Low functionality.


Takeaways: Each of these options has its advantages and disadvantages. Sticky notes and stickers could be good short-term solutions in the meantime while you find the right fit.


What are the risks of not using a webcam cover?


Using a webcam cover or not is your choice, but you need to be aware of potential risks.

Webcam covers matter with many of us working from home. Keep in mind, leaving your camera uncovered could leave you vulnerable to surveillance and webcam attacks.


Potential risk #1: Extortion. According to a Forbes article, some webcam attacks may occur in order to capture videos or images of people in compromising positions (i.e. changing or taking a shower). These cybercriminals then threaten to make these images public unless they are paid a sum of money.


Potential risk #2: Children could be put at risk. A journalist at the Wall Street Journal asked an ethical hacker to try to hack into her webcams. She was shocked when he was able to send her a picture of her baby. This ethical hacker helped prove an important point. Leaving a webcam uncovered might be compromising the privacy of others around you, including your loved ones.


Potential risk #3: video chatting apps have had security issues. Zoom has faced its fair share of security concerns. Before some of the security measures were increased, it was confirmed that some users could have been at risk for webcam hijacking according to Forbes. With working from home becoming the new norm, having a webcam cover is more relevant than ever!


Potential risk #4: the unknown risks. Whether you are working from home, in the office, or on the go, an uncovered camera could present privacy risks. Just think of how many times you bring your smartphone with you to the toilet. Not an image you’d want hackers to get their hands on. Using a webcam cover can give you the peace of mind you deserve.


More reasons to use a webcam cover?


A number of cybersecurity experts recommend covering up your webcam including the FBI. Even Mark Zuckerberg was spotted covering up his laptop’s webcam


Webcam covers are super easy to use. Webcam covers provide a functional solution to a major privacy problem. All you have to do is get your webcam cover, and it will take 5 seconds or less to install.

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