Why You Should Always Cover Your Laptop’s Camera

  • A man working using a laptop. Following the Covid-19 outbreak, working from home is the new normal
    An individual using a laptop
  • Contemporary Kenya is defined by technological advancements that have been realised over a period of time.  

    The modern world is characterized by tech innovations majorly anchored on information technologies. To put it into perspective, they have changed the way people interact in what is today referred to as the global village.

    According to data from Statista, almost half of private households across the world had a computer by 2019. Media technologies have also enhanced connectivity across the globe to an extent that companies can hold teleconferences with staff spread in different parts of the world.

    However, these advancements also come with drawbacks. Privacy infringement has been a major concern. Cyber attacks and spies are among the bottlenecks associated with IT. 

    A woman using a laptop to study
    A woman using a laptop to study

    A case in point is the fact that hackers are capable of spying on a laptop user through the webcam. This explains why some users cover their laptops' camera with tape. 

    Whilst people doing so may be seen as paranoid, experts hold that spying through webcams is a possibility.

    Dominique Machuletz, a privacy and security scholar at the University of Munster, states that attackers have the capacity of controlling webcams remotely and subsequently obtaining footage of the user without consent. 

    According to Computer Troubleshooters, a US firm that specializes in IT, cyber criminals have the potential to take videos and images of a user for different purposes without their knowledge. 

    Experts have argued that some of the motives of this spying could be an employer supervising his employees, a government gathering intelligence, or even criminals with the intent to blackmail. 

    The Federal Bureau of Investigation, FBI, has also advised US citizens to take the measure of covering the webcam with a tape as a simple way of taking precaution.

    Today, commercial producers of webcams have seals specifically for covering the camera and protecting the user.

    Electronic Frontier Foundation, a United States non-profit firm that champions digital rights, produces removable stickers specifically for covering webcams. E-commerce giant Amazon has also developed a cover that can easily slide right or left to block the camera. 

    Cyber attacks through your laptop is possible
    A man enjoying a moment from his computer
    Daily Star

    According to Computer Troubleshooters, one way cyber attackers can gain access to your laptop camera is through an email where they prompt the user to click on unsafe links.

    The link installs a program that allows the intruder to control the laptop’s webcam. Allowing access to your camera could also be an avenue for hackers to spy on you.

    Besides covering the camera, experts advise users to be cautious while opening emails, and insecure links. Users are also advised to avoid public WIFI and regularly update their programs to keep cyber criminals at bay.,

    criminal hack