Camera and Microphone

Discussion in 'privacy technology' started by beethoven, Feb 22, 2020.

  1. beethoven

    beethoven Registered Member

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    I am moving to a new pc and instead of plugging in a camera with microphone when necessary, these are inbuilt. While this is convenient, I am wondering if there is an easy way to disable / enable both when being used other than via device manager? I am also not sure if disabling the functions there is sufficient?
     
  2. Krusty

    Krusty Registered Member

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    Mark Zuckerberg puts tape over his camera. So do I. ;)
     
  3. trott3r

    trott3r Registered Member

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    Yep the osint podcast recommends to use tape.
    Even on your forward facing camera on your phone
     
  4. reasonablePrivacy

    reasonablePrivacy Registered Member

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    What about microphone inside PC (desktop or laptop)?
     
  5. Palancar

    Palancar Registered Member

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    I use tape as well, BUT I also have the luxury of turning OFF Camera, Microphone, & Bluetooth at the BIOS level. Those are three different setting selections to make sure the devices are securely disabled at the boot of the machine. You may check your BIOS because if those options are available its the most secure way to turn them OFF. I also turn those things off if possible in the software of the OS I use. BIOS is fundamental root so its the most secure.
     
  6. reasonablePrivacy

    reasonablePrivacy Registered Member

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    Most secure are hardware switches, especially electromechanical switches such as in Purism laptops. Another option is to disassembly device to remove microphone and use external microphone connected via cable.
     
  7. roger_m

    roger_m Registered Member

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    You can disable both from Device Manager. There is no need to put tape over your webcam.
     
  8. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    If you trust Device Manager.
     
  9. Surt

    Surt Registered Member

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    Tape over the camera.

    Dummy plug for the mic.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microphone_blocker

    Alternatively, if you have an external mic, you can plug it in and then sit on it. :D
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2020
  10. roger_m

    roger_m Registered Member

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    Of course I do. If a device is disabled in Device Manager, it won't work.

    I guess malware could enable a disabled webcam or mic, but I have no idea if any malware actually does that. If Windows Update were to find and install an updated webcam driver or audio, they would be enabled again. But other than that, a disabled webcam and or mic, won't work.

    Also it's worth noting that webcams typically have an activity led which is illuminated when they are being used. So if a hacker was to access your webcam and it has a led, you would see that it was being used. My laptop has dedicated button to disable and enable the mic, but this is not something that you see too often.
     
  11. Palancar

    Palancar Registered Member

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    I say do them all. For my money I am sticking with BIOS disabled components as best. Tape, OS lockdown controls, device managers, anything else all at the same time. With Windows and the frequent updates I just don't trust that installing one might not activate a component. It shouldn't but then its M$.

    I don't know how many machines allow for each component mentioned above being controlled in the actual bios file settings. Maybe I am just lucky on this!
     
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