WebCam Cover Review
In a study released by Lieberman Software this year, 87 percent of IT professionals believe that their companies have suffered data hacks that are going unreported. Many of these hacks occur through unsecured web cameras. Hackers record video and screen shots by taking over your webcam without your permission. There are many ways to do this; from simple phishing email scams to sophisticated malware or directly tapping into the network, as the NSA and other governments are doing.
One simple way to improve data security is to purchase web camera covers for the computers of all employees or members of your family. With many solutions to a common problem, which is the best approach to ensure that you have web camera security and privacy?
We have examined all the solutions on the market to help you find which is the best defense and best value for your money. Please forward our webcam cover review as there are many different products on the market.
One solution is a plastic or metal mechanical shutter. It attaches over your webcam with double-sided tape or magnets. The user must move the shutter back-and-forth in order to block the web camera from recording or operating a video signal. A magnet will only work on some MacBooks. Double-sided tape can only be transferred three or four times. Laptops or tablets with textured or uneven surfaces yielded poor adherence to the surface. Very thin laptops (MacBook Air) with this approach did not work or prevented the laptop from going into sleep mode, draining battery life. The shutter blocked part of the screen on some devices. The combination of poor surface adhesion, lack of transferability and the thickness of the product made shutters less than optimal overall.
Another approach is a plastic injected molded cover with a fixed opening and a one-size solution for all devices. This obviously limits what it can be used on. For example; it would not work on desktop, smart TV or ultrathin laptop. On a large laptop without curved surfaces it does work so long as the opening is sufficient for the device. Our tests showed this device does not work on iPads or on a MacBook Air due to the bulky form factor and protrusion onto the screen area.
Vinyl barrier cutouts rely on a static electricity charge to adhere to a surface. One huge drawback is many surfaces simply do not work with this solution. If you have painted plastic, texturized, “pebbled” plastic or nonconductive metal they will not work-this means most laptops. Without static electricity the cover will fall off just like a piece of paper would on a horizontal surface. Companies like CamJamr who are selling this will give you 10 or 12 units. Why so many? The answer is because they fall off quickly. The lack of basic functionality made this unusable.
Plastic Foam Cutout:
Campatch is a plastic sheet with double-sided tape on its back to adhere to a surface. It does work on many different types of surfaces but lacks durability for the long term. The double-sided tape simply is not made to be reapplied repeatedly and maintain its adhesion. We found this product to last about five or six applications, after which the double-sided tape wore out.
Poly Silicon Barrier:
Another approach is using poly silicon cutouts to stick over the web camera lens cover. This works adequately on surfaces like glass but on painted and texturized plastic it would not stick to the surface due to the limitation of the silicon adhesion. We found that it is very unstable and not transferable multiple times due to debris or dirt that sticks and clogs the silicon, which renders it of no service.
Organic Polymer Barrier:
This worked on any surface, did not leave a residue and was transferable many times. If debris or dirt got on the product rinsing it briefly with cold water and drying approximately twenty seconds reactivated it. Adhesion was just as good after this as it was fresh out of the package. Webcamera Cover was the best performing product we have found. The thinness, transferability and reusability by far made this the best solution available on the market.
Remember that anyone with administrative access to your computer can turn on the webcam without you knowing it. Your privacy is a right, but like closing your curtain in your house it’s up to you to protect that right. It doesn’t matter if it’s a hacker, company or government. Keep your privacy and cover your webcam when it’s not in use. It will make the your internet usage safer and will give you protection and security.