Cover Your Webcam With a Post-It Note

Protect Yourself from Big Brother

We noted in June that the single most important thing you can do to protect yourself from government spying is to realize that the NSA can turn on your cellphone or laptop’s videocamera and microphone without you knowing. And see this.

Now that even the Washington Post reported that your webcam can be remotely activated and you won’t even know it’s on, awareness of this vulnerability has gone viral.

To give you an idea of how mainstream this concern is going, Mashable’s Lance Ulanoff made a short video to show you how to use a post-it to block your webcam (duct tape works, but leaves a sticky mess on your laptop if you ever want to take it off to start using your webcam):

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  • It’s not a “vulnerability.” It’s a feature that was designed on purpose on behalf of our overlords.

  • hinder binder

    I use a binder clip

  • Awake

    I use duct tape!

    • lobo

      me too. visitors are always shocked and comment. vete al la verga.

  • Uncle_Meat

    What if you simply disable it with the device manager?

    • Jon Ripley

      They would probably hack your machine, and silently turn it back on.

  • YuriTahrded

    Been doing it for years. I’ve always had a hunch that this was possible. I just tear a little 1/2″ x 1/2″ piece of the sticky part of the post it note and place it over the cam. I forget it’s there. I hear the new xbox has a cam that is always on. Gotta do that too

  • Ivan Sanchez

    I always point my logitec cam away, but could it be turned on without the light coming on?

    • Nils Pettersen

      Yes, it can.

    • mothman777

      I cover the fucker up with a small cardboard box hung over it the moment I finish talking to someone.

  • Defiant

    I know that, before now, it was just paranoia, but I’ve been using a post-it on my laptop cam for about six years!

  • Luke Wagner

    When i got a webcam a few years back, i cut a couple inches off of a old sock and put it over the webcam. Easy solution for those who have desk top computers.

  • Go Kart Mozart

    I wonder if manufacturers could be forced to embed a second camera and microphone in computers – something hidden to the OS and only they have access to?

    • Marc

      Good Lord, don’t give them any more ideas! : O

      • Tuaca1107


  • chiliboots

    Masking tape. Avoid sticky surface contacting the lens (fold appropriately). Low tech. Almost free.

  • ajax johnson

    i don’t cover anything, just my hand stroking myself with a few 40 ouncers, a bottle of Jack Daniels with a Confederate Flag and Don’t Tread On Me with Adolph Hitler in the background. What I got to worry about?

  • Nope

    Hackers can do it too. It is another way to capture secure password entry.

  • Douglas Hotchkiss

    what about the microphone?

  • mothman777

    Got my new Sky+HD Box (a TV recording device) a few months ago. I had not programmed it to record anything, and left in on standby, but the hard drive kept on recording constantly, BUT I had not programmed it to record any TV, and when I checked what had been recorded, NOTHING had been recorded THAT I COULD SEE, a bit like you check your delete box on your computer, and it is completely empty, yet when you check your hard drive, every single thing that you have ever deleted is recorded on it, and you have to wonder why, like it is some Facebook device that wants to keep every little thing on you that it can get for the NSA.

    So this hard drive on the Sky+HD Box records me in my room possibly, most likely; I knew a guy who used to work in a foreign embassy once, and he told me that when they checked the walls, the walls were covered in lenses so tiny as to be imperceptible, and coloured the same colour as the wallpaper, with perfect blend-in effect (back before 1980).

    I unplug the Sky+HD Box now when I go to bed at night, it is just so creepy whirring around when on standby with nothing programmed to record, like it is activated by infra-red movement or whatever to record me in my room or whatever. PARANOID? I DON’T THINK SO.