Disable webcam and microphone computer

Hello there. It's nice to see you again.

You are staring at the screen, right now, reading this ultra interesting blog post.

Did you know that someone could be staring back?

There is no doubt that more and more of our customers are turning to laptops for their computing needs. Many people take issue with the integrated webcam and microphone that is on nearly every commercially produced laptop. We get several requests a month to physically remove the cameras and microphones from our laptop orders.

Why remove the webcam and microphone?

Well, let me give you the worst case scenario: strangers can access the feed from your camera and microphone, even turning them on when you are not aware. This practice, called 'ratting', is well documented on places like YouTube where videos are posted of people being secretly recorded on their own computer. These videos are frequently banned by YouTube as a violation of their Terms of Service, but they are posted with such frequency that finding a 'ratting' video is a pretty simple search.

Some may scoff and point out that access like this requires the user to grant root or administrator access to the program 'ratters' use. But Trojan infections of computers of all types are very frequent. In fact I recently had to clear out a root kit on a family member's computer that was installed via a trojan, which anti-viruses have an easier time detecting AFTER install.

We can be as cautious as possible but remember this:

We have to be right EVERY time but the hacker/cracker/virus/trojan has to be right only ONCE.

How do I remove the webcam? Well there are a number of techniques out there for mitigating the risk of webcams and microphones. Can I steer you clear of one popularly proposed solution?

Do not take a drill motor and drill out the webcam from the bezel. That is a horrible idea.

Not recommeded for use with your next Puget System.

A better idea? Buy your next laptop from Puget Systems. We can do a complete microphone and webcam removal, done the right way, by our experienced technicians. I have posted some links on the right side of this article to our most popular line of laptops. Check them out, save a quote and let our Puget sales staff help you make a great choice for your next computer.

Get Skype so you can talk for free over computer

If your friends have computers, you can all use Skype to talk for free. You can even do video calls for free if you have webcams. Otherwise you need a microphone and speakers to use it as a "speaker phone" or get a headset. Or get a webcam with a built-in microphone, you can use that as a mic/speakerphone too without using the video.
You can even make regular calls to phones on Skype for 2.3 cents a minute or pay like $30/year for unlimited domestic calling out. If you are near a computer enough, that might be enough to cushion your 1000 minutes/month. Use the cell when you aren't near a computer.

Skype is FREE for computer to computer use

Just go to Skype.com and download the app, then sign up for an account. That allows you to make free computer to computer calls - to someone else with Skype. I use it all the time to make video calls to a friend a few states away, for hours, all for free.
I have a webcam with a microphone, and the audio quality is fantastic, far better than a regular phone. But you can get a bluetooth headset (I have a crappy one that came free with my cell phone that I tried and it works but I'd never use it).
To use Skype for regular phone calling, you have to add on two services: SkypeIn where you can buy a telephone number ($38 a year, I just got a number) and SkypeOut, which is $28(?)a a year I think, I don't have that but it lets you call out to any phone unlimited domestic long distance

Microsoft Microsoft LifeCam HD-6000 720p HD Webcam for Notebooks - Black
CE (Microsoft)
  • Auto Focus
  • TrueColor Technology
  • Notebook design with 360-degree rotation
  • True 720p HD video
  • HD-quality video at up to 30 fps.
D-Link Systems, Inc. D-Link DCS-930L mydlink-Enabled Wireless-N Network Camera
Photography (D-Link Systems, Inc.)
  • Easily view & manage
  • Sleek and compact design that fits in the smallest corners of your home
  • Wireless connectivity Resolution:Up to 20 frames at 640x480, Up to 30 frames at 320x240,Up to 30 frames at 160x120 Lens-Focal length: 5.01 mm, F2.8Sensor-VGA 1/5...
  • Ready to use in 3 simple steps
  • Works with mydlink app, which can be found on the Apple store for Iphone and the Google playstore for Android products.
Apple Computer Apple MacBook Core 2 Duo P7350 2.0GHz 2GB 120GB DVD±RW DL 13.3" Notebook AirPort OS X w/Webcam, 6-Cell & Bluetooth
Personal Computer (Apple Computer)
  • Apple MacBook Core 2 Duo 2.0 GHz 13.3-inch Notebook General Features: White color
  • Mac OS X version 10.5 6-cell Lithium-ion Polymer battery Intel Core 2 Duo P7350 2.0 GHz processor
  • 3 MB L2 cache, 1066 MHz FSB, Intel 64, Enhanced Intel Speedstep Technology, Execute Disable Bit
  • 2 GB DDR2 SDRAM 120 GB hard drive Slot-loading DVD RW DL drive
  • NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics with 256 MB of DDR2 VRAM shared with main memory
Andream Andream 4000mah Black Ultra-thin 0.29 Inches External Lithium Polymer Battery Pack under Security Protection
Wireless (Andream)
  • PVM Analog control: By the modulation of pulse width, it can reduce the energy consumption of recharging to prolong the li-battery life-time.
  • Intelligent current shunt: The built-in intelligent control circuit can shunt the current when the power bank is self-charging and outputing at the same time.
  • Intelligent multi-protection circuits: Provides a constant current to ensure secure charging. It can instantly disable the output when the output exceeds the rated...
  • Input: 5V 1A; Output: 5V 1A; Touch Switch + Hidden LED Capacity Indicator + 6 Converters + Velvet Pouch
  • For most cell phones, tablets and other 5V digital devices
hp HP Pavilion dv4-1548dx Notebook - Intel Pentium T4300 2.1GHz / 14.1" WXGA / 4GB DDR3 / 250GB HD / HP webcam / Windows 7 Home Premium
Personal Computer (hp)
  • HP Pavilion dv4-1548dx Notebook
  • Intel Pentium T4300 2.1GHz / 14.1 WXGA / 4GB DDR3 / 250GB HD / HP webcam / Windows 7 Home Premium

Popular Q&A

avatar
I disabled webcam and microphone from my windows 8 computer.?

i disable both AND uninstall them. and it says its done. but every now and then ill go back and check and they are both reinstalled and enabled...any idea?

maybe i am wrong, but it looks like you just uninstalled the software, and you did not disable the devices..



if windows still sees the hardware then windows will reinstall the software, unless you disable the devices.

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