As of lately, numerous articles have drawn attention to a common precaution of placing tape over a computer’s camera. From laptops with built in cameras to desktops with webcams, individuals such as Mark Zuckerberg and FBI Director James Comey have been noticed taking this precaution. Paranoid is the term some have used to describe Zuckerberg and Comey, but this action does bring awareness to personal security and privacy with technology.
Although covering a computer’s camera will not protect it from being hacked, it can prevent a hacker from being able to see what the camera sees. It is relatively easy for a hacker to gain access to a computer’s camera without the user ever having knowledge of this occurring, diminishing individual privacy. The hacker can use the information gathered for any number of reasons, including extortion.
The decision to place tape over your computer’s camera can be determined by the amount of privacy and personal security you want or feel you need. Individuals that place tape over their camera usually do so to prevent a hacker from spying through the camera while the computer is in use. If the choice is made not to place tape over your computer’s camera, one thing that is recommended is closing the laptop or unplugging the webcam when it is not in use. This obstructs the camera so that if it were to get hacked, the hacker would not be able to see or gather information that you would prefer be kept private.
Privacy is dependent on the individual and in this age of technology, little information is kept private anymore. Whether you feel more comfortable placing tape over your camera, closing your laptop or unplugging your webcam, or neither is reliant on how much privacy you want or need.