How can you turn off your webcam when you're not using it?

If your webcam gets hacked, people can just spy on you. You can turn off your webcam so that you are certainly not bothered by snoopers. Here you can read how to do that.

It may seem paranoid or exaggerated, but a hacker could be taking control of your webcam and spying on you and your kids. After all, your webcam is almost always linked to a device that is connected to the internet. And your webcam is almost always pointed at you. In addition, you often cannot see whether the camera is active or not. Also read: 10 tips to get more out of your webcam.

Nowadays it is much less difficult to secretly access and operate a webcam than it used to be. With the right malware, a webcam can be taken over just like that, without the need for hacking or programming knowledge.

And this isn't just about creeps peeking at your kids or your wife. It might as well be an illegal surveillance method by people who want to keep an eye on you for whatever reason. Your boss who wants to see if working from home is really as efficient as you claim, your suspicious partner, your competitors who want to know what secret project you are working on... you name it.

Fortunately, it's possible to completely disable your webcam when you're not using it, so that a malicious person can't just operate it.

Tape or disconnect webcam

It's not difficult to disconnect an external webcam just by removing the cable from the USB port. That way no one can watch or listen in.

Another easy way to make sure that no one can watch is simply hang or stick something over your webcam, such as a tea towel or a sticker. If you have a laptop with a built-in webcam, you can stick a piece of opaque tape over the part of the screen in which the camera is built. Try to find something that you can easily remove without leaving any glue, otherwise you will have a problem when you want to use your webcam again.

Of course, it's not just about the image, but also about the sound that is picked up by the microphone. If you're using a laptop, you can tape something over the opening of the microphone. If you use a PC, it is best to simply disconnect the webcam so that it certainly does not register any sound.

Turn off webcam

It is safest to disconnect your webcam so that it cannot be accessed at all. But if your webcam is built into the screen, or if you don't want to crawl under your desk all the time, you can disable the device from Windows 10.

This makes it more difficult for hackers to access your webcam, because they first have to gain access to the computer itself to turn your webcam back on before they can watch or listen in.

In the search field next to the start button, enter the text device manager and click on the search result. Navigate in the window of Device Manager to the category Imaging devices and right click on your webcam. Then select Switch off. If you want to use your webcam again, go back to Device Manager, find your webcam and choose Switch.

You can also uninstall the device from this menu if you hardly ever use it, but this is a much more drastic solution.

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