On Covering Your Laptop Camera With Tape

Katie Rogers, in a piece for the NYT headlined “Mark Zuckerberg Covers His Laptop Camera. You Should Consider It, Too.”:

On Tuesday, observers were reminded that Mr. Zuckerberg, 32, is not just a normal guy who enjoys running and quiet dinners with friends. In a photo posted to his Facebook account, he celebrated the growing user base of Instagram, which is owned by Facebook. An eagle-eyed Twitter user named Chris Olson noticed that in the image’s background, his laptop camera and microphone jack appeared to be covered with tape.

Other publications, including Gizmodo, used the tweet to raise the question: Was this paranoia, or just good practice?

I think this is nonsense. Malware that can surreptitiously engage your camera can do all sort of other nefarious things. If you can’t trust your camera, you can’t trust your keyboard either. Follow best practices to avoid malware in the first place — don’t install Flash Player, and don’t install software from sketchy sources — and you’ll almost certainly be fine.

(If you look at the photo, Zuckerberg wasn’t even careful applying the tape — it partially covers his display. That would drive me nuts.)

Update: Covering the microphone with tape is downright pointless. Tape blocks light, yes, but not sound waves. Try it.

Thursday, 23 June 2016

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