Recently Mark Zuckerberg made the news when a picture showed him with his laptop, and the camera and microphone were covered up. This set everyone discussing it as to whether it was necessary or whether it was leading too much into paranoia. We decided to pose this question to our writers and asked them “Is covering up your laptop’s microphone and camera a good practice?”
For the most part, we found that many of our writers believe covering up the camera and microphone is a good idea. While Derrik doesn’t have a laptop anymore, he does believe it’s a good practice to not have the camera and microphone available. When he did have a laptop he uninstalled the Linux module for cameras and just used a USB camera when he needed to.
Mahesh also believes it’s a good idea so that you’re not sharing anything with “spying eyes.” However, he wants to make sure people are doing it because they feel they should, not just because Zuckerberg did it. After that picture made headlines, he saw websites teaching everyone how to do it, informing everyone they should do it as well.
Trevor figures there is always someone smarter than him who might want to use his information to steal his identity or mine it for someone else. He sees it as a good idea even if you’re not a person of interest like Zuckerberg. He compares it to locking the door on your house or not writing your PIN number on your ATM card: preventative.
Charnita sees it as a good practice if it makes you feel comfortable but not just because it’s a new trend. She rarely uses a computer that has a camera or microphone so doesn’t worry about it. She doesn’t see it as important in her case, whereas she can see how it would be important for Zuckerberg. She jokes, “If someone wants to watch me stare at my screen all night long, they must be really bored.”
I very much agree with Charnita. I don’t see anything wrong with it, but I don’t necessarily see the point for someone like me. To me, it’s a little too “foil hat.” I’m usually on my iPad and not a laptop anymore, but I still wouldn’t be worried about it if I was. They wouldn’t see or hear anything interesting other than me talking to my family. Maybe they’d heard some good gossip, but that would be about it. Maybe it’s ignorance on my part, but as they say, “Ignorance is bliss.”
What about you? Do you already have your camera and microphone taped up? Are you planning to do it since you saw that Zuckerberg does it? Or do you not feel it’s worthy of your time and effort? Is covering up your laptop’s microphone and camera a good practice? Let us know below in the comments.