This is part of the 169 tech tips for your class-but this is a bonus, not included in the ebook, just for readers of Ask a Tech Teacher. If you follow this blog, you’ve seen it before, but it’s worth repeating. Feel free to grab the image and use it in your classroom:
Tech Tip #170: Cover your webcam when you aren’t using it!
I used to do this and forgot about it. My mentor came for a visit and slapped a post-it note over my webcam.
And she’s right! Webcams and mics are too easy to hack, been done often. Why risk it? When I want to use the webcam (which isn’t that often), I take the post-it off.
I’m not the only one. In questions during a conference at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, former FBI Director Comey revealed that cam-covering is commonplace at the FBI and other government offices:
“If you go into any government office, we all have our little camera things that sit on top of the screen, they all have a little lid that closes down on them. You do that so people who do not have authority don’t look at you. I think that’s a good thing.”
One more person who’s security conscious is that poster-boy for social media: Mark Zuckerberg. Do you see what the geek experts noticed about this photo (one is that Mark covers his webcam as a matter of policy):
It’s old science that an image of your keyboard can be caught in the reflection of your glasses and transmitted to your webcam.
You might wonder why anyone would be interested in what shows up on your webcam. The answer is simple: Hackers use captured footage or audio for blackmail.
Another tip: Close your laptop when not in use. Then, the camera and mic can’t be compromised.
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Jacqui Murray has been teaching K-18 technology for 30 years. She is the editor/author of over a hundred tech ed resources including a K-12 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, K-8 Digital Citizenship curriculum. She is an adjunct professor in tech ed, Master Teacher, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice, CSTA presentation reviewer, freelance journalist on tech ed topics, and author of the tech thrillers, To Hunt a Sub and Twenty-four Days. You can find her resources at Structured Learning.