It sounds next-level paranoid, but covering your webcam with tape might not be a bad idea. Mark Zuckerberg does it. FBI Director James Comey does too.
“Comey went further by explaining that it was common practice at the FBI and any government office to cover webcams with physical items, like tape.
You go into any government office, we all have our 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.” – The Next Web
It is discomforting to think about that even the most powerful and technologically up to date people cover their cameras with tapes… Has an ordinary law-abiding citizen without million dollars worth of secrets anything to worry about?
Probably yes. Webcams are not the hardest thing to gain access to in case of a malicious intrusion. But why does it matter? Some people are simply worried about their secrets when others gain unauthorized access to them but they gladly share most of them on social networks on their own choice. It does matter how we evaluate the risks threatening our secrets and we don’t like losing control.
But in actual cases… People who have access to a person’s camera can monitor his/her daily routine, gestures, nonverbal communication, and gain a rather full analysis about his/her persona. In case of a ransomware attack, the victim’s reactions can be valuable. Also, they know when the house is likely empty when is it safe to rob or they can witness the most intimate moments of a couple. There is no end to the variations of unpleasant scenarios this can cause.
Conclusion: even everyday non-CEO users should physically cover their webcams (plus mic) when it is not in use. It may save you from embarrassment and stop the leaking of your secrets online.