The reasons to cover your phone camera when you aren’t using it overlap with the reasons to cover your built-in laptop webcam since phones are computers. So, I’ll put them into a single, non-exhaustive list:
- Covering your cameras protects you from hackers. Ever used your phone in an intimate place such as in the shower or on the toilet?
- Covering your cameras protects you from government surveillance. See Optic Nerve.
- Covering your cameras is a powerful precaution that takes seconds and costs nothing.
- Many highly intelligent, tech-savvy individuals and organizations block their webcams and recommend you do the same including government offices, whistleblower Edward Snowden, former FBI director James Comey and CEO of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg.
- If you’re blocking your built-in PC webcam, then not blocking your phone camera is inconsistent. Your phone is likely far more dangerous to your personal privacy than your computer.
- You can always temporarily remove the tape, sticker, or sliding piece if you want to capture a photo or video.
- You aren’t using your webcam or phone camera 99% of the time.
- Covering your cameras protects the privacy of others that may fall into the field of view of your cameras.
- Camera LED indicators are not good at telling you when the camera is in use. Many of them can be disabled even when the camera is on and phones don’t have them.
- Covering your cameras encourages others to do the same. Most people have loads of big brother apps on their phones, so getting others to cover their cameras is highly desirable. It should be the norm.
- There’s no good reason not to. If you don’t want the inconvenience of peeling tape and stickers off your devices, a cheap sliding piece of plastic will also solve the problem. See plastic webcam covers.
If you can think of more reasons, shoot me an email!