Story 2016-09-08 1T0VS Do you cover up the camera on your mobile devices

Do you cover up the camera on your mobile devices

Anonymous Coward
in ask on (#1T0VS)
story imageMedia is covering why people disable cameras by covering up the camera with tape on their laptops and mobile devices. Is this paranoia? Does the NSA or hackers really get into your phone or PC just to take pictures of you in the nuddy? Pipedot, I ask you: Do you cover up the camera on your devices, and if so, why?
Reply 20 comments

Yes (Score: 0)

by Anonymous Coward on 2016-09-08 10:17 (#1T1S1)

Not because I think that someone is going to take a video of me for blackmail. It's just creepy watching videos of people who have been hacked like this. It is bad enough now Microsoft has admitted that they take data off your PC. No need to entice hackers. Perhaps like car alarms, if everyone covered their cameras by default then there would be less incentive to do this.

Re: Yes (Score: 0)

by Anonymous Coward on 2016-09-08 11:35 (#1T1ZJ)

I also cover my cameras, and for much the same reason.

No (Score: 1, Interesting)

by Anonymous Coward on 2016-09-08 15:57 (#1T2R5)

Because I actually take video and use video chatting apps and I have yet to find a cover that's convenient and will work with my choice of phone case. (It was a gift, I love it. I'm not changing cases if the new one doesn't offer a significant advantage.)

Besides, the microphone scares me more. No one's going to blink if some idiot hacks photos of me staring at my phone in the bathroom. If they hear me say the wrong thing, though, I could lose my job.

So far the only real security I've seen was an idea pitched for a phone case which alerted the user if the phone became untrustworthy and started sending signals without permission. AFAIK that idea has not yet become reality.

Anybody got a pitch for something that blocks the phone's mic AND camera?

Re: No (Score: 0)

by Anonymous Coward on 2016-09-09 23:20 (#1T7WB)

It was terribly dangerous to let your thoughts wander when you were in any public place or within range of a telescreen. The smallest thing could give you away. A nervous tic, an unconscious look of anxiety, a habit of muttering to yourself - anything that carried with it the suggestion of abnormality, of having something to hide. In any case, to wear an improper expression on your face (to look incredulous when a victory was announced, for example) was itself a punishable offense. There was even a word for it in Newspeak: facecrime, it was called.

Re: No (Score: 0)

by Anonymous Coward on 2016-09-10 12:40 (#1T99E)

I so did NOT need this reminder today

Re: No (Score: 0)

by Anonymous Coward on 2016-09-10 00:20 (#1T805)

I think you're after a Faraday bag. I can't imagine an external device that would be able to work out the difference between desired and undesired signals from your phone.

Re: No (Score: 1)

by on 2016-09-10 01:01 (#1T81Y)

I can't imagine an external device that would be able to work out the difference between desired and undesired signals from your phone.
You could make a tiny little $5 pocket signal detector with buzzer. When idle, you get only a brief little buzz every few minutes (or maybe entirely omit notifications for any transmissions that short). When a call is ongoing, or data is being transferred, buzz continually... That would raise the veil, giving people an idea of when their phone is sending data, and how much. If it starts going full-blast when your phone is sitting around in your pocket... a big red flag!

Of course you could do this pretty well in software, too. In fact the status bar icons show all cell/wifi xmit/recv activities on some few phone models. Or you can just pay attention to your battery consumption and get nervous when it suddenly lasts a fraction as long as it normally would, because either an app has started going nuts, or your phone is now transmitting a lot more often...

Re: No (Score: 3, Informative)

by on 2016-09-14 14:17 (#1TQES)

Just in time for early Christmas present ordering:

Silent Pocket Faraday Cage Sleeves -

"The patented Radio Frequency shield in the phone and tablet sleeves effectively blocks all wireless, cellular, GPS, WiFi, Bluetooth, RFID, and NFC signals in all frequencies. And there's an alternate internal side, which shields only against RFID and NFC (so you can protect yourself from hacking on those frequencies, without missing a phone call or text)."

And, I found the article I was thinking of when I posted the original question (I was the above AC). I read the Schneier on Security blurb, but here's one of the articles it linked to with more info. (The headline annoys me by assigning all the credit to Snowden, but at least they acknowledge Huang's work in the body.)

It looks like it requires modification - wiring things directly to the phone's circuit board via the SIM slot - and it's only a prototype. Still cool though. Especially since, "Faraday bags can still leak radio information," according to the article.

Re: No (Score: 0)

by Anonymous Coward on 2017-09-13 23:44 (#322T2)

That would certainly block incoming data to the phone at that moment, but what's to stop software on the phone logging undesired information locally for later upload next time you do use it? OK you could monitor the memory and card free space but some data could still be stored in an existing fixed length file.

Re: No (Score: 0)

by Anonymous Coward on 2016-10-15 11:52 (#1Y5X7)

Since the front facing camera on my android died I am more aware of how much it is used. For example, to disable the screen when on calls for power saving. Now I am creeped out. A nice cover for Android for front and back covers sounds like a good idea.

Re: No (Score: 1)

by on 2016-10-16 00:03 (#1Y7K0)

I don't think that's correct. While located in the same area, the proximity sensor that shuts off your screen is distinct from your camera. First Moto E had no front-facing camera at all, yet it has a proximity sensor:

Numerous phones with front cameras are similarly listed as also having proximity sensors, not just reusing the camera.

Nope (Score: 1)

by on 2016-09-10 14:25 (#1T9HH)


I am not paranoid (Score: 1, Funny)

by Anonymous Coward on 2016-09-10 14:51 (#1T9KQ)

I know people are out to get me.

Yes (Score: 0)

by Anonymous Coward on 2016-09-12 08:39 (#1TEQ7)

Two things: I don't generally like a camera in my face.
and having gone through a computer engineering program I've seen my share of jokes played through remote access to cameras, microphones and even cd tray motors... so it's not a rare thing in my experience (although I'd hope it might be now that I'm older) ;)

Re: Yes (Score: 0)

by Anonymous Coward on 2016-10-15 11:52 (#1Y5X8)

Que the Computer Cup Holder!

My camera is broken! (Score: 1, Funny)

by Anonymous Coward on 2016-10-01 06:24 (#1WKY4)

You insensitive clod :(

The whole office (Score: 0)

by Anonymous Coward on 2017-02-21 13:08 (#2DDW6)

Everyone tapes over the camera. No one leaves it open.

We don't use video calls in office though.

Actually my computer dont have camera (Score: 1)

by on 2019-08-20 16:02 (#4NK03)

it is done to avoid anonymous access to your camera when you are online. I dont prefer it. But it is better to set deny permission to camera.