Tape on Your Laptop Camera?

Is Tape on Your Laptop Camera Necessary?

If you are one of those people who take computer security very seriously (as everyone should, really), chances are, you are already practicing one of those measures that remains debatable because the public is still divided on whether the tactic is effective or not. We’re talking about putting a tape over your webcam. It’s back in the limelight after a post by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg where Twitter’s Chris Olson didn’t say anything about Instagram’s 500m likes milestone. Instead, what he pointed out was how Zuckerberg’s camera and microphone jack were covered with tape.

Tape on Your Laptop Camera

While many may think of it as paranoia (especially maybe for those people who believe they have nothing to lose, or think they aren’t worth the effort, or simply do not care), there are also those who believe it’s a logical thing to do.


Why Should We Care?

laptop tape

Photo from Laptopmag.com

Back in April, an article about this topic came out. Written by John Zorabedian for Naked Security, it was entitled “Why the FBI director puts tape over his webcam – and you should too”.  It gave a clear insight on why it makes sense to cover your webcam when it’s not in use.

According to Zorabedian: “Hackers can use malicious software called a remote access trojan (RAT) to take over your computer, record your conversations, or even turn on your webcam to spy on you.

RATs are perfect for surveillance, which is probably why the FBI has used similar malware to infect the computers of suspects in criminal investigations, court records have shown.”

So if the FBI Director himself believes that putting a tape over your webcam can help curb the threat of being watched without your knowledge, and the Facebook CEO does too, then maybe it’s a course of action worth considering, right? It’s simple, and won’t even cost you. Well, maybe just a little. Equivalent to the cost of tape. But that’s nothing compared to what it can potentially protect you against.


Prevent Camfecting and Protect Your Privacy

By placing a tape over your computer’s built-in camera, you will be able to prevent “camfecting”. It’s a term that means your webcam has been taken over by someone else without your knowledge or consent, and that person (or program) can now freely watch what you’re doing, take pictures of you, record videos of you, and listen to what you’re saying. With such powerful information, it will be easy to disrupt your life and cause all kinds of problems for you. It may sound far-fetched, but it’s a very real possibility.

And it’s not just for laptop and PC webcams. Apparently, baby monitors and CCTV security cameras are vulnerable to being exploited and taken over too. Imagine if a hacker is able to break into your home monitors. The same cameras you are using to protect your family will be the same ones that can be used to harm you. Scary, right?

So, should you or shouldn’t you put a tape over your webcam? Considering how hackers are constantly updating their techniques and cybercrimes are becoming more sophisticated, any little thing that can help secure your privacy is surely worth the effort.


iDoctor can Disable Your Camera

If you don’t ever use your camera, and you have no intentions of ever using it, we can disable it for you so you don’t have to put tape on your laptop camera.  Bring your computer to either of our two locations: one on the West End of Billings and one in the Billings Heights, and we can take care of that security problem for you.

If you would rather take care of the problem yourself, we have attached an instructional video below.