Webcams are everywhere, you will find them on your smartphone, tablet, or laptop computer. If you don't take precautions, they can also pose a threat to your digital security and personal privacy. If your computer has an exposed webcam, someone could be watching you right now without you even realizing it. Cybercriminals might also be able to get into your iphone or ipad and record things they can see and hear, so It's a good idea to cover up your webcam when you're not using it, just to be safe.
Don't panic, here's the good news!
Why should you use a webcam cover?
Your webcam can be a weak point in your overall security if it's not covered up. Here's a few reasons why you should take action, plus tips to do it right.
One reason people use a webcam cover is to protect their privacy – if they don't want anyone seeing them through the camera, then covering it up is an easy way to prevent that.
Another reason is to prevent hackers from accessing the camera and using it to spy on the person. If someone were to gain access to your webcam, they could potentially watch or record you without your knowledge. There are also ways for these hackers to disable the LED light that signals the webcam is in use, so you might not notice if someone is spying on you.
Covering your camera can also help to deter thieves who look for ways to target and steal information. This might involve hijacking online bank accounts, stealing financial data used for online shopping, or breaking into social media accounts to commit identity theft.
Finally, some people just don't like the idea of having a camera in their space, even if it's not turned on, and covering it up gives them peace of mind and helps them feel more comfortable.
What could happen if you don't cover your webcam?
If you don’t take precautions to secure your webcam, your privacy and online security might not be as strong as it could be. Cybercriminals can invade your online privacy through your home- and because the cameras are often positioned in places like your living room or kitchen, they can easily see and even overhear private conversations. It's wise to take precautions with the camera on your phone or tablet as well, like covering it up!
- Webcams that are integrated or built-into a device are at risk of being hacked if the device is not properly secured. For example, if a webcam is left on and unsecured, someone could potentially gain access to the device and turn on the webcam without the user's knowledge.
- External webcams are standalone devices are also vulnerable to hacking. If these devices are not properly secured, someone could gain access to the webcam and view or record footage without the user's knowledge. When people buy and set up a webcam, they often leave the password as the default option instead of creating a new, complex password.
It's a good practice to get in the habit of updating your operating systems and software. Hackers can break into devices and plant viruses on them by taking advantage of weaknesses in the operating system or common software. Be sure you update to the latest versions to patch security flaws.
A webcam cover protects you from malicious malware that may have infected your computer. Malware can be used to access a camera to record people or take pictures without their knowledge. If your camera is used for malicious purposes, it could record sensitive moments or material, and the infected device would send the recordings back to the cybercriminal. The material that’s collected could be used for a range of purposes, like blackmail, identity theft or to cause a victim distress. The cyberthreat of an exposed webcam can have a very real-life impact on whoever it affects.
What you should look for when purchasing a webcam privacy cover?
A webcam cover is a simple solution to protect your privacy. Place a cover over your lens, close the cover when you're not using the webcam, and open it when you want to talk face-to-face with someone. Not all camera covers are designed equally so here how to choose one cover over another what to avoid.
So why not just use a piece of tape or a sticker to cover your webcam? Tape or a webcam privacy sticker always need to be replaced, can heat up and create a sticky mess on your device, and in some cases void your warranty.
What's another solution? You could purchase a cheap plastic webcam cover. Cheap plastic covers like the eysoft webcam cover have a two-piece sliding mechanism that is too thick to safely close your computer, and causes a gap that cracks screen. The metal cloudvalley webcam cover slide covers aren't ideal and can scratch your computer. These types of covers all come with a risk to your device and should not be used.
WARNING: Plastic covers don't allow for safe closing, read this; Apple has warned that two-piece sliding webcam covers can crack screens, they also use double-sided 3M tape that can cause permanent damage. (see article)
You'll want purchase a webcam privacy cover that easy to use, easy to install and safe for closing your laptop. Eyebloc has carefully designed two covers for every type of webcam, that can withstand daily wear and tear. Most importantly, Eyebloc designs allow you to safely close your laptop and can work on your phone, laptop or tablet as well.
The Nanobloc covers are made with a durable screen safe micro fiber and a reusable residue free nano-suction, covers come in 3pc or 7pc options. Nanobloc covers also have wide compatibility to work on all laptops designs, external cameras, and also all smartphones.
If you want to protect your MacBook, the Eyebloc for MacBook Air or MacBook Pro is the thinnest cover available. The patented design makes it easy to connect to your MacBooks built-in magnets and is thin enough to not interfere with closing your computer. To open your camera, slide open the camera and slide the cover back to close the camera.
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Here are six tips to further improve webcam privacy and security:
1. Use a physical webcam cover.
2. Adjust your webcam settings.
3. Use a secure VPN.
4. Don't click on links from strangers.
5. Use strong passwords and two-factor authentication.
6. Keep your software up to date.
Safety Tip: Always Avoid suspicious links or attachments. Cybercriminals sometimes use phishing emails to deliver a webcam virus or malware. Only open emails and links or download attachments from email addresses you trust.
Be smart, be safe and always stay protected!