Should you put tape over your webcam?

A few days ago, Mark Zuckerberg announced that over 500 million people now use Instagram every month. While this is a newsworthy moment, the internet found something much more interesting.

If you look very closely, you can see that Mr Zuckerberg has put tape over his webcam and mic. While I’m not one to buy into fear mongering, but when the creator of Facebook does something, you need to ask why. So should you be putting tape over your webcam? 

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Ever since 2013 when Edward Snowden leaked documents showing that the National Security Agency (NSA) was spying on American citizens and world leaders, we have all become aware of how easy it is to spy on people and get personal information.

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FBI Director James Comey also covers his webcam with a piece of tape because, and this is true, he saw someone smarter than himself doing it. 

[Tweet “Should you cover your webcam with tape like Mark Zuckerberg does?”]

And while you may think the government isn’t interested in you, stalkers and peeping toms may very well be.

Here are 5 tips to keep your webcam from spying on you:

  1. Cover your webcam with tape (not the clear kind) to obstruct the view
  2. While most webcams light up when in use, it is possible to gain access without the light being on. Always be fully clothed when working online
  3. If you use a desktop, unplug the webcam. Not even the greatest of hackers can plug in a webcam remotely
  4. Make sure your anti virus software is up to date
  5. Avoid dodgy looking sites

What about your mic? 

Tape won’t really do the job, but what you can do is break an old pair of earphones. This works because your computer thinks that a mic is still plugged in. Anybody trying to listen in will be met with the sound of silence.

Connect a pair of earbuds that include a microphone into your 3.5mm audio jack, then snip off the earbud with the mic on it — usually the right one — just below the mic. – Mashable


Author’s Note: as I was writing this article I started looking at my webcam with suspicion. Before I closed my laptop, I covered up the webcam with some tape. 

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