Why Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg covers his Macbook’s camera and audio jack with tape

By @chelean on
Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, delivers a keynote speech during the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain February 22, 2016.
Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, delivers a keynote speech during the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain February 22, 2016. Reuters/Albert Gea

Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg has taken precautionary measures to prevent people from spying on him. The 32-year-old billionaire posted a photo of his office desk that shows his laptop’s camera and audio jack are both covered with adhesive tapes, possibly to prevent hackers from snooping on him.

Mark Zuckerberg Mark Zuckerberg  facebook.com/zuck

“More than 500 million people now use Instagram every month – and 300 million every day. The Instagram community has more than doubled over the past two years. This is a tribute to Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger’s vision, and to people everywhere who have opened a window into their world – from big events to everyday moments. Thanks for making Instagram such a beautiful place,” Zuckerberg captioned his photo.

Although the image seems normal, it apparently shows how “paranoid” the Facebook founder really is. Twitter user Chris Olson pointed out that both the camera and the audio jack of his Macbook are covered with tape.

“When I first saw the photo I quickly noticed tape covering the camera,” Olson told the Huffington Post. “I’ve actually seen this technique used a decent amount of times and knew it was used as the last line of defence for someone hacking your camera.”

Olson added that if the big boss of a world-class technology company applies the low-tech technique, he might just do the same thing as well.

As Gizmodo confirmed, the desk and the laptop in the image were really Zuckerberg’s. In a Facebook live video he posted in September, Zuckerberg gave a tour of the social media giant’s office, showing the exact desk he was sitting in the recent picture.

Zuckerberg has a right to be paranoid, though. As Mashable explains, webcams can actually be hacked. Even the US FBI does it. Sophisticated hackers can take control of a laptop’s webcam and mic without the owner knowing about it. They can access cameras through malware, even disabling the camera’s LED light to pretend the owner from noticing the breach.

So even though Zuckerberg appears to be paranoid for his security, it’s not unwarranted. After all, his laptop is perhaps a dream fodder for many hackers worldwide.

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