For years, MacBook users have slept easy knowing their devices are less likely to be infected by malware. However, times have changed and hackers are getting smarter about the way they break into macOS. For this reason, many MacBook users have turned to camera covers as a secondary layer of protection against prying eyes.
Unfortunately, Apple has warned against using camera covers on the MacBook. While it’s never a bad idea to be proactive about your online privacy, you should never close your MacBook when you have a camera cover on it.
The Dangers of Using MacBook Camera Covers
In a support note Apple mentions that closing your MacBook with a camera cover can damage the display. Due to the precise design of your MacBook, there is minimal space between the keyboard and the screen. Because of this, the added depth of a camera cover could crack the display or make it difficult to close properly.
Additionally, Apple also mentions that covering its camera could also prevent some MacBook features from working properly. For example, the MacBook’s auto-brightness and True Tone features are dependent on the camera’s ambient light sensor, so covering the camera will affect performance.
What can you do to block your MacBook camera?
Luckily, the MacBook already has mechanisms to let you know if your camera is on. When you turn on the MacBook camera, its indicator light is activated. This lets you know instantly if your camera is on without your permission when the green light appears.
If you’re still not sold on the idea of an uncovered camera, there are other steps you can take instead of using a camera cover. For example, you can manage camera settings to restrict app access to the camera. Go to System Preferences > Security & Privacy > Camera. Next, uncheck the box next to each app that you no longer want to have access to on your MacBook camera. Then close the lock icon to confirm your decision.
If you ever need to use the camera with an app again, you can always give it access in the future. Note, however, that preinstalled apps on a MacBook, like FaceTime and Photo Booth, automatically have access to your camera.
What if your workspace requires camera covers?
While not recommended, the reality is that sometimes you don’t have a wide range of camera covers to choose from. If your workspace requires a cover for your MacBook camera, Apple recommends making sure the camera cover is no thicker than 0.1mm.
If you’re getting a MacBook camera cover, you should also consider opaque tape covers. These allow you to take advantage of a blocked camera without the possibility of ruining your display. However, it’s best to make sure you don’t use tape that leaves a sticky residue that could affect your camera’s visibility.
Since Apple recommends not covering your MacBook with a camera cover, you can also simply remove it before you leave work.
Securely manage your MacBook camera
When it comes to online security, it’s important to find the right balance between privacy and utility. Although Apple doesn’t recommend closing your MacBook with a camera cover, it does have a built-in mechanism that notifies you when your camera is in use.
When it comes to the MacBook, the camera also plays a crucial role in several useful features. Therefore, avoid unnecessary tampering with your MacBook camera to ensure your device works as it is intended. Fortunately, there are many other steps you can take, such as: For example, managing your camera’s privacy settings.
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