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Sunday, September 25, 2016

Why you must tape your webcam!

The Director, Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), Mr. James Comey has given some reasons why every user of electronic devices, especially laptops with cameras should cover them up with a tape, reports ITRealms.

Mr. Comey advised at a conference at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, penultimate Wednesday, that if there is anything people at this age should be concerned about, its about their devices and one of the sensible action to take prompt is apply the tape on webcams.

“There’s some sensible things you should be doing, and that’s one of them,” he declared according to reports by TheHill, decrying that when one enters into any government office, “ … we all have the little camera things that sit on top of the screen. They all have a little lid that closes down on them.”

Comey also urged device users with cameras to do the tape thing “so that people who don’t have authority don’t look at you. I think that’s a good thing.”

ITRealms recollects that Mr. Comey was branded on several online platforms earlier in the year for revealing he puts a piece of tape over his laptop camera to keep away prying eyes.

According to Comey, this precaution is a common one among security advocates, given the relative ease of hacking laptop cameras.  

Although some analysts found it crazy for FBI director to care about personal safety, Comey insisted that he thinks people ought to take responsibility for their own safety and security.

Stressing the essence of taping webcams, the author of The Smart Girl's Guide to Privacy, Ms Violet Blue pointed out that if the likes of Mark Zuckerberg could tape his laptop, why not you.

She recalled that FBI had in 2014 ran its largest cyber operation, thereby arresting scores of webcam hackers in over a dozen countries, who had all been using a programme called Blackshades. Pointing out that the programme has the ability to give its user access to "photographs and other files on the victim's computer, record all of the keystrokes entered on the victim's keyboard, steal the passwords to the victim's online accounts, and even activate the victim's web camera to spy on the victim -- all of which could be done without the victim's knowledge."

The malicious tool, she reported was shown to have been purchased by several thousand hackers in over 100 countries, infecting over half a million computers around the world.
Ms Blue pointed out that after her harrowing experience, former Miss Teen USA, Ms Cassidy Wolf now tapes over all of her webcams, and so should we all.

“Everything that has a camera; Your phone, your laptop, your tablet. If you have a modern device that can get online, it probably has a camera. And if it has a camera, someone looking for cash or scummy thrills have probably figured out how to hack it and turn it on without your knowing,” Ms Blue said.

Protecting yourself, she argued, is as easy as taping it up, just like Zuck and Comey, advising that sticky notes work well because they have a gentle adhesive, and you can also find privacy stickers for purchase online that are made specifically for putting on and taking off web and phone cameras.


Chuks Egbune/GEE 
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