Recently, the current FBI director, James Comey, said he places a piece of tape over his computer webcam. If an FBI director follows these security measures, what safety precautions should you take?
During a talk at the Center for Strategic and International studies on national security issues, Comey told the moderator, “I think people just need to continue to be sensible in their own sort of security hygiene and asking good questions and not assuming that somebody else has thought about this or someone else has taken care of their security.”
Comey is not the only high profile individual who admits to protecting his privacy with the tape strategy. Mark Zuckerberg, of Facebook, revealed he tapes over his webcam and microphone.
Though we cannot be certain if this tape method is needed or effective, a 2013 report from tech news site Ars Technica, suggests that webcam hacks are a very serious and real threat. The article describes sites that contain threads of people sharing and trading images of “slaves” — people whose computers they have broken into.
So is it just paranoia? It doesn’t hurt to cover your camera. At the very least, it can minimize damage from the threat of webcam spies. Like Zuckerberg and Comey, perhaps we should have the attitude that it is better to be safe than sorry.