I was just reading about the latest Zoom malfunction to occur to a relatively high profile name. In case you haven't heard a writer for the New Yorker and frequent political correspondent was caught pleasing himself during a work meeting over Zoom.
While I feel bad for the guy, I just want to take this opportunity to reiterate that relying on software to ensure that your camera isn't on is a recipe for disaster. There have been so many incidents in just the last couple of months alone:
- An Argentine lawmaker who fondled his partner's new breast implants on camera
- A Brazilian businessman who wasn't wearing pants on his call with the president
- Woman using the toilet during a meeting with her coworkers
One reason why these incidents keep happening is confusion over what 'muting' a meeting does. That only mutes your audio and not your video. But even if you did turn off your video stream, you cannot guarantee that your camera isn't transmitting anything. Which brings me to my next point.
There has been a spate of hacked IP cameras. The ones that you use to keep an eye on your home while you're away? Many of them are designed to be accessible over the Internet which makes it easy for hackers to target them. The most common mistake is to not change the factory default password. But even if you were to do so, you could be at risk from hackers if they were to be able to guess your password correctly. So it's best you cover them if you were to do anything that you don't want anyone to see.
In this age of cameras and surveillance, it's hard to maintain our privacy and anonymity. Having said that, let's not make it any easier to have our pictures out there. Use a physical barrier to cover your cameras unless you are using them!