Tuesday, 02 May 2017 11:54

How to keep your Mac's camera from spying on you, no tape required Featured

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It’s the staple of all hacker and government-conspiracy fiction, not to mention quite a number of horror films: You’re being watched through your hacked computer or phone or through a hijacked surveillance camera feed. And, unfortunately, this is well-reasoned paranoia in the real world, because to an operating system, a camera is just another file that can be read and relayed.

Earlier this year, in response to the news and to reader queries, I went into detail with a few ways you could disable microphone input in software and hardware on a Mac. Video is surprisingly (or not so surprisingly) easier to block: You can simply put a piece of tape over a lens.

Security guru Christopher Soghoian, principal technologist at the ACLU, told an interviewer in August, “the best bang-for-buck when it comes to privacy…is putting a sticker or a Band-Aid over your webcam on your laptop.” That’s what Mark Zuckerberg did, and he also covered his mic—which, as I noted in the previous article, doesn’t help nearly as much as audio will still bleed through.

Audio and video tapping don’t lend themselves per se to mass surveillance, despite the NSA reportedly recording enormous amounts of phone calls and video sessions and using software to find words and people of interest.

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SPEEDEE spends his day searching the internet for the information you need to better use your Mac, iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Apple Watch and all else Apple.

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