This affordable accessory protects your webcam from prying eyes

In case you didn't know already, your webcam can be hacked, meaning people can turn it on remotely and theoretically use it to film you without your knowledge. Scary? Most definitely. But how maybe people are actually concerned about this? Let's take a look at one famous example.

Mark Zuckerberg

Last year the CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, posted this photo:

Look at his laptop on the left side of the photo. Notice his webcam is covered? If you've ever seen The Social Network, you know Mark Zuckerberg has some personally experience with hacking, so at the very least this photo suggests that it's a real issue.

How to protect yourself from webcam peeping toms

You could take the Mark Zuckerberg approach and use a piece of tape or a Post-it note to cover your webcam. That won't cost you anything. However, it could leave marks on your laptop or PC, and it doesn't look very elegant.

Of course, you shouldn't do anything in life just because a famous billionaire does, but I believe personal privacy is worth an investment in an inexpensive webcam cover.

Smooz Webcam Cover

These thin little metal covers stick right over your webcam and allow you to slide a shutter back and forth to expose the webcam or cover it up.

The Smooz Webcam Cover is minimalist in design and will cover almost any webcam on most laptops and PCs, without covering any other sensors your computer may need.

For about $10, you get three of them, meaning you could install them on your PC, your laptop, and even your phone if you want to.

See on Amazon (opens in new tab)

What about external webcams?

If you use an external Webcam, you can find plenty of covers for it available online. Alternatively. If you don't mind a little extra hassle, you could always unplug your webcam when it's not in use.

Do you use a webcam cover?

Are you worried about webcam intruders? Do you cover yours? Let us know how or why, in the comments.

28 Comments
  • If you have a Surface, when booting press "POWER+VOLUME UP" and you can then disable the front facing camera.
  • even from hackers?
  • I just use a small piece of electrical tape on my laptops. the adhesive isn't messy & the tape is opaque
  • A piece of masking tape would work just fine, and probably be easier to remove cleanly.
  • It'd also look tacky
  • Take a sharpie to it and color it the same color as your bezel, it'd look better than taping one of these things on there, and also garunteed to not interfere with your laptop closing.
  • This is pretty much what I do. If you have an odd colored bezel you could cut the sticky part of a Post It note to cover the lens. I'm a form over function guy anyway so i don't care what it looks like.
  • I think you mean "function over form", if you don't care what it looks like.
  • I just take an index card and cut a square small enough to cover the camera. Then I tape it over the camera with a slightly wider piece of tape.
  • I've seen that scotch tape can be enough of a block, too. No means to personally test, though.
  • I was at the RSA Conference two weeks ago and picked up a similar thing at the Microsoft booth.  These web cam covers were 'the thing' that many vendors were giving away.  Pretty smart marketing; provices security and puts your log in front of user's faces all day :-) Fits perfect on my SP4.  You can see in the second pic that they even made a cut-out so that the RealSense camera will work for Windows Hello if you want it to: https://1drv.ms/i/s!AlV5RT5zlW-Brvc_eySQc68Zt7LElw https://1drv.ms/i/s!AlV5RT5zlW-Brvc-8-tRgplMxtsF7A
  • that would be "...provides security..." and "...puts your logo..." :-)
  • But wouldn't that bump press up against the keyboard when you flip it closed?
  • negligable...1 mm if even that much
  • How about covering a mic so it can listen in on you? I don't think I've seen a solution that takes care of both. I doubt a piece of tape would do that much.
     
  • There's not much you can add physically that will allow you to still close a laptop. It'd have to be a semi-thick piece of foam or something similar.
  • No webcam, no problem!
  • Back in 2008 or so, I was taping a piece of paper over my camera and people called me crazy.
  • We still call you crazy. That piece of tape does not cover your microphones, and it also doesn't protect the people in your computer from accessing anything else. In fact, that piece of tape probably covers the light letting you know that your camera is on and your system is compromised.
  • Know what costs less than $10?  a piece of tape lol But seriously though, webcams have a light.  This light is fed by in-line power for the camera itself.  If the camera is active, then the light is on.  If the light is off it is because the camera is not powered up.  Stop being paranoid over nothing people!   If your camera is being accessed without your concent you have much larger issues at play.  It means someone has access to your PC, and probably has access to all of your files and software on your computer.  This is WAY worse than someone snapping a pic of you during an inopportune moment while watching adult content (or more likely, a pic of you looking at bored reading an article or doing work).  If we are going to be paranoid about blocking a camera (and not even the mic! lol), then lets be paranoid about what sites your visit, and use some antivirus/firewall software to keep people off your computer in the first place.
  • oh dear God, the notification LED can be disabled. It was explained 100x even a real life case happened when a 14y. girl was stalked by a pedo through the camera
  • Hi guys, I use a plaster.
  •  If someone want to watch me sleep, fine by me. :D
  • I have a better solution just disable camera driver or better yet remove its driver completely.
  • Okay, I'm all for the web cam covers, but here's the thing: I have a Windows 7 laptop docked with an external monitor and web cam, a legacy Microsoft web cam for Windows 7.  Would anyone care to offer advice on how to properly cover it?  I'm big on aesthetics, so duct-taping the front of the thing is low on the list of options.  I also have an external web cam attached to my Windows 10 desktop PC (a Logitech HD Pro C910).  Is there a web cam cover for this that I could use? Finally, this article does not discuss cameras on smartphones and tablets (specifically, my fourth-generation Kindle Fire).  Any suggestions?
  • At the end of the article it does say: For about $10, you get three of them, meaning you could install them on your PC, your laptop, and even your phone if you want to. If you check the product page on Amazon it shows the product on a smartphone. It looks to me like it would go over any camera, even a Kindle. I don't own a Kindle but I'm assuming they're the same camera lens as any other tablet. 
  • I have an older (8 years) Acer laptop. The cam is on a swivel and it's always pointed away from me in the opposite direction. So, any hacker will either get to see my feet (guess if you have a foot fetish that would be good), or they will see what I'm watching on TV or video game I'm playing. Now as for the 2 Kinects I have (360 and One), they'll have a full frontal booty shot.  
  • I just turn my external camera 180 degrees and whoever hacks my webcam, can stare at the wall. Of course I would prefer, that all webcams came with a shutter. Since it is a proven fact that it happens, it should be an option for anyone that wants it. Like antivirus for your software parts.