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Cover up your webcam – hands on solution


Back from vacation I read an article on vice about how a cybercriminal sent a woman pictures of herself that he took with her own webcam. The whole story is available here. Unfortunately it is in many cases trivial to take over a computer (regardless if Mac OS X, iOS or Windows or anything really) and have control over what is stored on it and track what is done with it or turn things on and off. The camera is just one of the many aspects that can be misused if the device is not adequately protected. However, an approach against the camera misuse is so trivial that I briefly wanted to share a 30 second hands-on solution that I am using on my devices.

What you need for it is one of these small screen cleaners that are typically handed out as a gift. They stick to the back of your phone and you can use them to clean the screen of it when needed. However, they are ideal to also cover the camera on your tablet, PC, Mac, phone and also TV if you have one of these smart TVs that have a built-in camera. The approach is simple and you just cut the screen cleaner sticky to a size that fits over the camera that you want to cover up. It can be taken away and re-attached many times and barely adds to the thickness of the device. And as an additional benefit you always have a screen cleaner with you and it is free. A win-win-win situation really.

Below two pictures showing one of these cleaner pads and how it looks on my Surface computer.

step one WP_20150806_18_17_24_Pro

Welcome to Reto Haeni's security cloud

A cloud can be many things. A white patch in a sunny blue sky, the source of a powerful thunderstorm or almost unlimited computing power. My cloud is a place where I am discussing security, technology, productivity, IT-business alignment and corporate citizenship with a few lightning bolts once a while. I welcome all comments and feedback and if you have a question please use the contact form below.

About the Author

I am Microsoft's Chief Security Officer for Western Europe and have over 15 years work experience in an information security and risk focused IT environment as group CIO, Chief Risk Officer, Technical Director and Program Manager.

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