October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month: The Importance of Webcam Security

Webcam Sticker Example

Surely you’ve seen people with stickers over their laptop webcams before. Maybe you’ve thought, “Wow, they’re paranoid.” 

However, we are here to tell you that they’re not. Those who cover their webcams are smart. 

In today’s digital age, highly skilled hackers can access your computer’s webcam through unidentified vulnerabilities. These hackers can not only spy on you unknowingly, but they can also gain access to your keyboard and track your strokes, allowing them to steal passwords or personal information. 

UCSB Information Security is not alone in asking you to cover your webcam. According to a recent Forbes article, 10 percent of U.S. users “either know someone who was hacked or have had their own webcam hacked.” 

As much as 60 percent of U.S. users cover their webcams in all types of ways, according to Forbes, such as tape, a sticky note, or a piece of paper. One problem with these measures is that they can be ugly and cumbersome. 

In light of this information and National Cyber Security Awareness Month, UCSB Information Security is taking measures to protect you. We are giving out free webcam stickers to all UCSB students and employees. Each card contains six stickers of various shapes and sizes that can be removed and reapplied without losing stickiness. 

“We urge all UCSB users to protect their privacy by taking advantage of this useful resource,” said Sam Horowitz, UCSB Chief Information Security Officer. “We also encourage departments and individuals to hand them out to coworkers, family, and friends.” 

Pick up your Webcam covers at the UCSB Collaborate Help Desks (Phelps 1521, HSSB 1203, & Music 1401) or UCSB ResNet Help Desks. For more information contact Sam Horowitz or Associate Chief Information Security Officer Kip Bates, or email security-awareness@ucsb.edu.