or anyone who uses a laptop or PC with an integrated webcam, the advice is to use a cover to cover it. And no, it is not an excess of prudence
Who is reading this article from a laptop or desktop PC, unless you use an external webcam to connect at the appropriate time, will find the integrated one of the computer. Maybe you use your PC every day and have never considered the implications for your security and privacy. The “camfecting” is the process that allows attackers to hack into the webcam of a PC and spy on the user, which happens a lot more often than you might expect. For this reason, it would be good to use a webcam cover when it isn’t, or at least it shouldn’t, be in use. Especially in 2020, where the webcam and video chats between work calls and distance learning, DAD, have become the new normal.
Webcam cover: why use it
The issue of safety when using the webcam has become paramount. For a hacker to attack the device and take control of it is quite easy: a click on an email or a website is enough to give access to a malware or a virus to your PC. However, it is equally easy to protect yourself: by placing a cover on the webcam , even if some attacker manages to activate it, he will not be able to see anything and privacy is guaranteed. For those who think that as long as the webcam light is off there is nothing to worry about, it should be clarified that in the event that a hacker manages to activate it, the light does not necessarily indicate it.
In addition to the security issue, in a period like today’s made of continuous videoconferencing, using the webcam coverage could prove to be an excellent solution to prevent it from turning on by default , catching the user even when he is not yet ready to enter. videochat.
In fact, we often set the video in chats as Zoom or Meet by default, finding ourselves without our knowledge framed in the middle of a call, while we are still wearing our pajamas, having breakfast thinking we are not seen or still interacting with someone who unexpectedly enters the room. Whether it’s cyber security , or saving ourselves from a thin figure and embarrassment with colleagues, or even worse with the bosses, who sooner or later we will see again in the office, covering the webcam seems a really useful and easy option to implement.
Webcam cover: what to do with smartphones, tablets and smart displays
Not just computers: anything that has a front camera may need a cover. Think of smartphones, tablets and smart displays like Amazon ‘s Echo Show, Google’s Nest Hub Max, and Facebook’s Portal. Hacking the cameras of these devices, especially smart displays , is certainly more complicated for an attacker, since it is not possible to install third-party software, but just enter the home’s Internet connection to access it.
As for smartphones and tablets, however, the dangers are the same as that of computers. Enhanced security is provided by iOS and iPadOS devices, which include new features that alert the user when a third-party app is using the camera or microphone.
In the case of these devices, finding a cover that fits is much more complicated. For example, covering the phone’s camera could also mean covering the other ambient light sensors or even infrared sensors for Face ID.
Webcam cover: which one to buy
Some PCs have a built- in webcam coverage system – just move a slider to cover the lens and safeguard your privacy. For other models, you need to find a cover that fits your needs.
The simplest way to cover the webcam can be to use a post-it to affix it to cover it, but this is certainly not an elegant solution. For some webcams such as the Logitech C920 there are special covers, easy to apply and to use to open or close the lens. For laptops, on the other hand, the options are many and you have to understand which one will stay in place without creating problems. Some users in the past have reported screen corruption issues while using a webcam cover on their MacBook. The advice is to choose magnetized metal covers to be applied easily, rather than plastic covers with the opening and closing mechanism.