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Covering the webcam on your laptop with a piece of tape is one of many simple steps Americans should be taking to safeguard their privacy, said FBI Director James Comey.
Comey made the remark during a conference at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, noting that he’s been mocked in the past for making the same privacy suggestion.
“There’s some sensible things you should be doing, and that’s one of them,” Comey said.
The FBI head noted that the privacy measure is commonplace in government offices.
“You go into any government office and we all have the little camera things that sit on top of the screen,” he said, according to The Hill. “They all have a little lid that closes down on them.
“You do that so that people who don’t have authority don’t look at you. I think that’s a good thing.”
Comey went on to admit that he uses a piece of tape to cover the camera on his own laptop.
“I hope people lock their cars,” he said. “Lock your doors at night… if you have an alarm system, you should use it.”
“It’s not crazy that the FBI director cares about personal security as well,” Comey added. “So I think people ought to take responsibility for their own safety and security.”
If you disagree that Comey cares about your personal privacy, it’s probably because you remember the recent high-profile battle his agency waged against Apple in an attempt to force the tech giant to help compromise users’ cellphones.
Still, his suggestion that you should place tape over your laptop’s webcam is valid.
Earlier this year, tech journalists across the web were surprised to learn that Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg covers both the camera and the microphone on his laptop with tape in an effort to keep hackers from prying.
The revelation came after he posted this picture online:
If he’s worried about privacy while working from Facebook’s HQ—which undoubtedly has a cybersecurity system in place far more sophisticated than anything most of us could replicate at home— you probably should be too.
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