Putting tape over webcam when not in use. Am I the only one?

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Putting tape over webcam when not in use. Am I the only one?

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When my webcam is not in use I place electric tape over my laptop’s webcam. That is literally the only paranoia that I have when it comes to being online. Sure, I’ve got the XSS NoScript addon and a few other firewall type rules but big deal, that’s almost standard issue – but that’s about it. I use Ubuntu Backbox as my day-to-day operating system so that kinda firms up “regular” nasties out there due to the holiness of Linux, but the one thing which might make me slightly uneasy is my webcam. Yes, the lowly webcam.

There are many tales of horrific hackers (criminals) out there purposely hacking into their victims machines to only own their webcam. Stories of children’s webcam’s being hacked is particularly disturbing. Incidentally, child security is a topic close to our hearts here at Concise Courses – we had two Hacker Hotshot events (Helping Kids Learn About Cyber Safety and How Secure Is Your Child’s Social Security Number?) on the subject with speakers from McAfee and the mighty Winn Schwartau.

So why the paranoia?
Do you get changed in the morning with the curtains wide open? Well, there’s half the reason. The other half is that we work with unbelievably talented and smart information security experts that we invite onto our Hacker Hotshots webshow. These guys have shown on many occasions how tools and hardware can be used for malicious intentions and there a million and 28 tools out there at the last count that can hack into YOUR webcam. Google camfesting and you’ll catch my drift.

Last word
Am I paranoid, cautious or just weird? Let me know – we would all love to hear your thoughts!

  • Joe

    I always have tape on my webcam when I don’t use it even if it shows a bright led when it’s on. Better to be sure!
    My other paranoia is to not have any picture with me or my fellows as desktop background; there are plenty tales of hacker selling children pictures stolen from parent’s desktop screenshot

  • Anonymous coward

    What about the inbuilt microphone ? Given the time taken to own a box and then survey it for opportunity will the microphone itself not be tempting for these so and so’s?

  • someone online

    i do this too, i have been for years since my webcam was hacked back in 2011

  • lol

    oh no someone has a picture of you on the internet. you are one of 7+ billion people, and odds are a picture of you from your webcam won’t change your life.
    so what if someone out there has one picture of you. what are they going to do with it? how does it affect you? why do you care? there are billions of pictures of people doing embarrassing things, gore, porn, etc. one picture of your face isn’t going to change anything.
    stop being paranoid.

  • Joshua Smith

    The first thing that happened when I turned on my new chromebook for the first time, idk if I hit a button or not, but it snapped my picture without me doing anything and saved it to google. What the F is that? I put a banana sticker over the damn thing; I don’t use a webcam at all anyway. I read an article about hackers turning on people’s webcams… Not paranoia at all

  • Víctor Ruz

    You are not paranoid
    Take a look at this http://www.tapatucam.com

  • Luke S

    You’re not the only one man, I put tape over the webcam, I don’t know what to do about the mic though, I don’t like the idea of people listening to my conversations.

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