You may be familiar with some popular tall tales about malicious internet villains hacking into webcams and violating a person’s privacy. Although these stories are definitely exaggerated in movies and television, there are potential risks to leaving your computer camera exposed all the time, like malware attacks. Thankfully, it takes less than a minute to cover your webcam and protect your privacy.
Trying Quick Fixes
Stick a strip of duct tape over your webcam to hide the camera.
Rip off a small section of tape and center it over your camera. This sturdy, dark-colored tape will block out any peeping eyes from your webcam, and is a very inexpensive to keep yourself safe and secure while you’re on the computer.
- Keep in mind that duct tape will leave a gunky residue on your camera for quite a bit, which isn’t ideal if you’re hoping to use your camera again.
- Painter’s tape is a great alternative if you don’t want to leave a lot of residue on your camera.
Hide your camera with invisible tape for an effective cover.
Stick a strip of clear tape over your webcam, which provides a good barrier between you and your camera. Although it’s not as dark as duct tape or painter’s tape, invisible tape really obscures your surroundings and makes your webcam essentially useless to any peeping toms.
- This option is great for any person who doesn’t want to make it obvious that they’re covering their camera.
Create a stylish fix that’s easy to remove with washi tape.
Shop online for washi tape, a special kind of tape that’s printed with cute, decorative designs. Rip off a section of this tape and place it over your webcam cover as a fun alternative to traditional tape.
- Washi tape comes off easily whenever you need to use your camera.
Place a post-it over your camera for a simple fix.
If you’re in a rush, a post-it can get the job done as an impromptu webcam cover. Unfortunately, post-its likely won’t stick to your camera for very long, which will leave you vulnerable again.
- Post-its can also leave a gunky residue on the surface of the lens.
Place a cute sticker over the camera for a fun fix.
Search online or in a craft store for a sheet of adorable stickers. Peel off the cute design and place it on your webcam as a cute, protective layer. Keep this sticker on for as long as you’d like, or until it starts peeling off.
- Look for stickers with a darker base. If your stickers are too light or see-through, they may not obscure everything in your room or workspace.
Using Store-bought Products
Install a sliding webcam cover as an adjustable fix.
Search online for webcam slides, which attach directly to the top of your laptop or computer. When you’re using your camera, slide the cover tab away from the camera, so others can see you. If you’re feeling extra cautious, slide the tab over your camera to completely cover your lens.
- Double-check the product description to make sure it’ll fit on your exact camera.
Cover your webcam with thin magnets as a creative fix.
Search online for a special type of thin, round magnet, which you apply directly over your camera. These magnets will fasten to the magnets inside your laptop or computer, which will hold them in place indefinitely.
Block off your camera with a square webcam cover.
Center this cover over your camera, which will block it off completely. If you need to use your webcam, remove the top layer from the cover. When you’re done using your camera, put the top layer back in place.
- You can find this type of cover online. It’s typically sold by the Colampra brand.
- Look into putting a privacy shield on your laptop, computer or tablet. These force your device to point in a single direction, and make it difficult for hackers or peeping toms to get a good look at your surroundings.
- Download anti-virus software on your devices so you won’t be as prone to hacks.
- Keep all your devices updated to protect yourself from hacks.
- You may want to choose a less obvious cover if you plan on using your computer in public. For instance, duct tape doesn’t look very aesthetically pleasing on your computer, and may make you look a bit paranoid.