Are Webcam Covers necessary?

At the onset of online classes, online meetings, and other online events, webcams have become the demands of the time. The need to have a sophisticated webcam has been the search of many students and work-from-home employees, freelance or regular ones. Thus, many technology-based companies have produced such equipment to answer the need of these clients. Some companies have created webcams that are portable, others have made the functions high in quality regardless of the size and bulk of the webcam, and still, others have produced a product with standard functions and quality, only to meet the need and demands of the clients.

Above all these responses to the demands of the time, there are webcams that stand out among them, those that are high in quality and excellent in their capabilities. One of the features of these excellent webcams is their covers. Being knowledgeable about the webcam’s features, especially the webcam cover, gives you an edge on what webcam to choose and finally purchase for your use.

 

Short Answer

Yes, webcam covers are necessary to your privacy. When you leave your webcams uncovered, you are posing threats and dangers to your personal activities in your room or in your workplace where your laptop or computer is.

Jake Moore, a cybersecurity specialist at ESET, said that by leaving your webcam uncovered, you are essentially placing a surveillance camera into your home. He added that ever since the webcam was invented, attackers targeted this equipment for the purpose of extortion. Moreover, these attackers devise a link to access your information such as your bank accounts, and other pertinent information to their advantage and worst scenario is, they steal your identity and do transactions on your behalf.

Does that sound scary? Indeed, it is scary. So, webcam covers are necessary as protection to your identity and properties.

Having the knowledge of stealing information through a webcam sends a shiver on your shoulders. Now, look at your webcam. Does it have a cover? Consider buying a cover now or choosing a webcam with a cover.

 

Why do people use Webcam Covers?

Most computer or laptop users know about the risks of using a webcam without a cover. I know you are not a newbie when it comes to the use of a webcam. You are one of those who purchase a webcam for your own need and purpose without realizing the danger to your privacy. You may think it “impossible” that someone can actually have access to your whereabouts. You may be assured that since your webcam is off, you are safe from hijackers. “Camfecting“ is the act of hijacking a webcam. Today, there are advancements in technology that access to your webcam is possible even when it is off. Now, take a rip off your tape for a second and cover your webcam as you read this article. Once the hijacker has collected a video or record of your unguarded moments, he or she uses these videos for identity theft, blackmail, or cyberbullying.

 

How can someone hack my Webcam?

Someone has to enter into your computer or laptop system to be able to hack your webcam. A hacker takes advantage of spy software, internet connectivity feature, or a trojan horse that looks like an update.

 

Spy software or Spyware

Spyware is software programmed to penetrate your computer device, gather data stored in your computer, and send it to a third party without asking your permission. In addition, the installation of this software slows down network and device performance. However, spyware also pertains to software that monitors your data for advertising purposes.

 

Webcam Internet Connectivity Feature

Check the connectivity feature of the webcam that you purchased. If it is Wi-Fi capable or a wireless device, then it is prone to hacking. The convenience that wire-less devices bring also poses a danger to the privacy of the end-user, even with passwords. The password default remains in the device due to the inconvenience of changing it or its difficulty.

 

Trojan Horse

It is malware that deceives users of its purpose. The term originates from the Ancient Greek story of the same horse which brought downfall to the city of Troy. How does trojan horse work? It may be sent as an email attachment in the like of an online form for the user to fill in, or you may get promotional material for a product in your email. The product’s advertisement or promotions lead you to follow a link for more details. This is possible access. Another example is a website you got into for some information that you need in your research. On the pages are several links. These links are possible to access your personal information. Clicking on those bad links enables the tracking of your privacy through the webcam.

 

So, should I use a Webcam Cover?

You should use a webcam cover given all the possible risks of intrusion into your privacy from the above statements. If you are still not convinced, then ask why security professionals use webcam covers. Mikko Hermanni Hyppönen, a computer security expert and columnist, who was part of the law enforcement in the United States, Europe, and Asia on cybercrime cases that started in the 1990s, quoted, “I’m quite confident that my own computer is not infected by malware—yet, I cover my camera just in case, and to set an example. It’s not a bad idea.”

Now, think. If the hackers can do such hacking through accessing photographs, files on the computer and even the keystrokes entered on the victim’s keyboard, can the FBI do a more sophisticated tool to hack on the hackers ‘webcam for surveillance? Yes! There have been arrests, and cybercriminals are being tracked down by the FBI. In 2020, FBI Director Christopher Wray made sure that their partnership with private sectors and other government agencies and counterparts would help what needed to be done with those cybercriminals lurking online.

 

What can I use as a Webcam Cover?

Looking at your webcam’s size and the size of its camera, it is but a small hole that can access your entire private life. So, to cover it, find one according to your preference. Choose one from among the following:

 

C-slide covers

If you are the type that considers a user-friendly cover, then the C-slide is for you.

 

Novelty Covers

But if you are the type that goes for a more creative cover, then the novelty cover suits you.

 

Stickers or Tapes

However, if you don’t want to buy one, you will do it with a sticker or a tape sitting around your workplace or study corner. Be ready, though, for some remarks when your friend sees the tape on your webcam. You may get the same mockery as the FBI Director, James B. Comey, had in 2016 when he said that he used a tape to cover his webcam.

 

Nope webcam covers

Adding more to the options is a pair of magnets that serves as an open/close switch. One is attached to your computer or laptop using a tape, and the other is attached, yes, magnetically! So, if you are the sophisticated type, then nope is for you!

 

Conclusion – Are Webcam Covers necessary?

Equipped with the knowledge of the necessity of using webcam covers, you are now convinced that they are necessary for your protection and privacy as well. You had your doubts in the beginning, I know. After searching and considering the possibilities which are presented herein, using a webcam cover is a must for you and me! It is actually for everyone who uses a webcam or any camera for that matter. Since the Internet Age has boomed and risen to a level that has everyone covered, it is not impossible anymore to locate you and your whereabouts!

Laura

Passionate author at TechVert.com. Loves science and books. In a relationship with her cats.

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