Years ago I went to a friend’s house and saw that she had covered her desktop PC’s webcam with a piece of aluminum foil. She had seen some special on the news or online about webcams getting hacked, and quickly fashioned a cover for hers. I thought she was being silly and paranoid. Fast forward to the present day. Facebook co-founder and tech-savvy PC programmer Mark Zuckerberg covers is laptop webcam with a piece of tape. Go figure.

The news came about somewhat accidentally. Zuckerberg took a picture celebrating the growing user base of Instagram. His laptop sat on his desk behind him and a Twitter user just happened to notice a piece of tape over the webcam. Not only that, his microphone jack was covered as well.


Some might call him paranoid, but if that is the case, he at least has reason to be. He’s been hacked in the past, and him being such a high-profile figure makes him a likely repeat target. To be fair, he has more reason to take these security measures than any of us do. At the same time, maybe he’s not paranoid, and he’s just being sensible. We know people can hack into webcams, and slapping a piece of tape over the top is a free five-second fix that works absolutely. Even F.B.I. director James Comey puts tape over his laptop camera, and you know why? He told NPR “because I saw somebody smarter than I am had a piece of tape over their camera.”

Where I’m going with all of this is that you should be like Mark Zuckberg and the head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Put a piece of tape over your webcam. Everybody has tape lying around, even if it’s just scotch tape. If you’re worried about the tape being clear, double or triple up, or tape a piece of paper over the lens. It’s such a simple solution – and one that can be removed the second you want to use it – that there’s no reason not to do it.


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