FBI director covers his webcam with tape, and says you should too

Someone could be watching you without you knowing. ALAIN JOCARD/AFP/Getty Images

The director of the FBI thinks you should cover your computer’s webcam with a piece of tape.

James Comey said using a simple piece of tape to protect yourself against hackers spying on you is the “sensible” thing to do.

“There’s some sensible things you should be doing, and that’s one of them,” Comey said Wednesday.

READ MORE: FBI director says US paid over $1 million to hack iPhone, adds it was ‘worth it’

Government buildings have precautions in place — a “little lid” to cover web cameras on office computers — and, he said, the concern shouldn’t stop at home.

“I hope people lock their cars,” Comey said, The Hill reported. “Lock your doors at night… if you have an alarm system, you should use it.”

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Comey isn’t alone in his habits — Facebook founder (and multi-billionaire) Mark Zuckerberg is known to cover both his webcam and his microphone jack with tape.

Hackers don’t just go after banking info and important documents — they can gain control of computers, baby monitors, and gaming systems.

Breaking news from Canada and around the world sent to your email, as it happens.

READ MORE: ‘I felt it was not my right’: Edmonton mothers debate sharing pictures of their kids online

From there they can take control of the device, or record images and sound. While this sounds like something out of a creepy movie, the reality is it happens.

Last year, a Toronto woman learned the hard way that a little tape goes a long way: she was horrified when a hacker sent her via Facebook intimate images of her and her boyfriend from the night before as they watched Netflix.

“What a terrifying notion. It was a really bizarre thing to receive those messages and it really took a second to be like, ‘Oh my God…someone was just watching us,'” Chelsea Clark told Newstalk1010 in August 2015.

“We obviously had no idea it was taking place in the moment, but retroactively it was like a really, really, deeply, creepy feeling. It was very unnerving. I mean it does feel like there’s someone just in your home with you.”

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WATCH: Netflix hack compromises couple’s privacy. Tech reporter Nicole Bogart explains. 

There are some precautions you can take to protect yourself against hackers. Be sure to use anti-virus and anti-malware on your devices, including tablets, be sure to keep the software and your devices’ operating systems up to date.

Use a secure Wi-Fi connection, which includes using strong passwords on your home connection.

READ MORE: Russian website posts baby monitor, home camera video from Canada, US

Some devices will have lights indicating your camera is on, so keep an eye out for activity when you’re not using the camera.

You can also take a cue from the FBI director and use a piece of tape.

If your privacy is violated, you can flag it with police. But, Comey said, people need to be active in protecting themselves in the first place.

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“It’s not crazy that the FBI director cares about personal security as well,” Comey said. “So I think people ought to take responsibility for their own safety and security.”

With files from Nicole Bogart

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