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Drop Everything And Immediately Cover Your Computer's Webcam, FBI Director Says

“It’s not crazy that the FBI Director cares about personal security as well.”

Photo by Ed Gregory/Stokpic.

When FBI director James Comey says he places a piece of tape over his computer’s webcam, maybe it’s time you should too.

When asked in 2016 at a talk in Washington D.C. about his own personal security regime, Comey told the moderator, “I think people just need to continue to be sensible in their own sort of security hygiene and asking good questions and not assuming that somebody else has thought about this or someone else has taken care of their security.”

Questioned further, Comey acknowledged that he does indeed tape his webcam to keep potential hackers from peering into his home and office. Comey said:

“Heck yeah, heck yeah. And also, I get mocked for a lot of things… much mocked for that… but I hope people lock their cars […] lock your doors at night. I have an alarm system. If you have an alarm system you should use it, I use mine. It’s not crazy that the FBI Director cares about personal security as well.”

Comey’s remarks came during a talk at the Center for Strategic and International Studies on national security issues, including his role in the Clinton email scandal.

This isn’t the first time Comey said he covers his webcam. In April 2016, Comey was mocked on Twitter for telling students at Kenyon College that he saw others taping their cameras so he decided to do so as well.

“I saw something in the news, so I copied it,” he said. “I put a piece of tape — I have obviously a laptop, personal laptop — I put a piece of tape over the camera.”

Comey is not the only high-profile figure to go to such lengths to protect their privacy. Back in June, observant journalists noted Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg had taped his webcam (and microphone).

The jury is out if this solution to hacking is effective or necessary. That said, one of the most comprehensive articles ever written on the world of webcam hackers seems to indicate that the threat is real.

Watch the discussion with Comey at the Center for Strategic and International Studies below:

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