The Simplest Way to Secure Your Webcam Without Any Software


Let’s start with the bad news: Your webcam is vulnerable. It can be remotely activated and you won’t even know it’s on. A report this month in the Washington Post revealed that the FBI figured out how to do this years ago.

Now for the good news: You can protect your webcam privacy with a bit of MacGyver-esque ingenuity. All you need is a Post-it note.

Start with your standard 2x2-inch Post-it Note in the color of your choice (we don't recommend the super-sticky variety). A piece of notepaper will work just as well. A piece of black tape would be a more permanent solution, but you will probably want to use that webcam someday. Tape, black or otherwise, could leave glue residue on the webcam lens or tiny illumination light, rendering it useless.

No writing on the Post-it is required. Simply fold the paper into approximate thirds; the placement of the folds will depend on where the webcam rests on your laptop. The goal is to fold the note so the sticky portion adheres to the back of your laptop screen (the computer’s cover), a third sits on top of the upper edge and the remaining third covers your webcam. The last third shouldn't be so large that it reaches and obscures a portion of your screen.

You can press the Post-it Note’s sticky portion onto the back of your screen, but we recommend leaving it free so you can slide away the DIY cover when you want to use your webcam.

Our Vine video takes you through each step:

Now, even if someone can access your webcam, he will only see your Post-it Note, not your unknowing face.

It’s also worth noting that before any hacker can gain access to your computer, he still needs your help. Most of the software used to activate webcams is malware, born on the back of phishing emails. If you never open or act on these messages, your likelihood of protection from hackers is much higher.

Of course, this is just one solution. You can add privacy to your webcam in other crafty ways — even with some 3D-printed options for less than $15. Share your preferred method in the comments below.

Image: Mashable, Will Fenstermaker

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