Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Improve Your Privacy At The Computer With Tape

Most computers come with web cameras. Most computers because of Windows are virus magnets. It's not really Microsoft's fault--Windows is just a big target. And lots of Trojans and viruses these days do things with your web cam, none of them good. If you are a woman, especially a young one, you yourself are a target. No es bueno.  What's worse is that not all web cams have a little light that comes on telling you that you that your camera is turned on. And even worse than that, the malware is getting more sophisticated and in some cases can turn on your web cam without you seeing any indication that you are being recorded. It disables the blue light that most web cams have.

Improve Your Privacy With Tape: Roll Of Electrical Tape
Now, I'm not that paranoid, but then again I'm probably not on anyone's 'must record' list either. I don't often use my web cam, so why not just cover it, at least when it's not in use. It's a small risk for me, but the web cam is just one more thing to leak your privacy with, so no sense tempting fate. I got to thinking about how to cover a web cam (especially a laptop one) in such a way that it a) it can be uncovered without a lot of fuss if I ever need it and b) didn't look too hokey.

Problem solved ... with common electrical tape! I'm sure about a million people have thought of this already, but there's no such thing as too much knowledge. What I did was cut a very small square of it and put it over my web cam lens. Since this type of type is not very sticky, I can easily take it off when I need the web cam (almost never) and even reapply it when I'm done using it.

My laptop is black so the piece of tape isn't even visible enough to worry about looking cheesy. But if you have a different colored machine, you can even purchase other colors of electrical tape. So if you have an Apple and use it in a professional setting, you could buy white electrical tape and nobody will even be able to see (unless they really look, which is creepy anyway) that you have your camera covered.

Improve Your Privacy With Tape: Square Of Electrical Tape
Just a little square is all you need
Improve Your Privacy With Tape: Square Of Electrical Tape Over Laptop Web Camera
It's mostly invisible unless the light hits it at a certain angle
 Until the day that they invent a computer virus that can take off the tape, you can sleep soundly knowing that nobody is counting your beers, or worse. Physical security is the most important kind because it cannot be defeated by software.

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