The director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, James Comey, is advising computer users to protect themselves from having potential hackers spy on them using their webcams, by simply putting a piece of tape over the lens.
Comey says that this is standard procedure in government offices, and that it would be prudent for normal citizens to follow the same practice. He began covering the camera on his personal computer after seeing the issue covered in the news. Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg is also known to cover his webcam up, too.
“There’s some sensible things you should be doing, and that’s one of them,” Comey said, referring to covering one’s camera. “You go into any government office and we all have the 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 that people who don’t have authority don’t look at you. I think that’s a good thing.”
Comey received criticism over this advice, with critics saying that it was hypocritical of him to be recommending personal security measures, in light of the FBI’s fight to have Apple provide a security backdoor to their products that law enforcement can access. Comey stands by his advice, though, saying that it’s a simple, yet sensible precaution.