To celebrate the fact that Instagram reached 500 million monthly active users and 300 million daily active users, Mark Zuckerberg posted an image yesterday on his Facebook account.

The photo immediately caught the eye of security experts, who noted that Zuckerberg had duck tape over his laptop’s webcam, a practice that’s to stop malware from secretly activating your camera behind your back and taking photos or recording videos.

Of course, some paranoid people might bring up the NSA’s secret spying arsenal into the discussion, but let’s not go down that road without any evidence.


FBI Director does the same

Zuckerberg is not the only high-profile figure to do so. Last April, while speaking at Kenyon College in Ohio, FBI Director James Comey, also revealed he puts a piece of tape over his laptop’s webcam as well.

While cyber-espionage groups have made it a regular practice to target high-ranking officials and the CEOs of large companies, putting tape over your laptop’s webcam is a sound advice for the regular user as well.

Blocking webcam access nullifies some features found in Remote Access Trojans (RATs) that lets hackers see if somebody is using the laptop, sitting in front of it, or in the same room. Without knowing this detail, some of them would think twice, or even give up on trying to access your device.

The danger comes from RATs

RATs are not only quite popular today, but also very cheap. You don’t have to be a hacker to use one, and people have gone to jail for using RATs to spy on their lovers or spouses.

Last fall, European authorities cracked down on RAT usage across the continent, making several arrests in multiple countries.

Putting tape over your webcam is a sound advice if you value your privacy, if you make billions of dollars per year, or are still living with your parents.

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