What are data blockers and webcam covers?
Why you should be taking using data blockers and webcam covers to protect your privacy and stop hackers dead in their tracks.
The exponential advances in technology are providing us with incredible opportunities in the 21st century. But these advances don’t come without risk.
Most of us depend largely on devices for our professional and personal activities, such as phones and laptops, even though we don’t fully understand how these devices work. This has introduced an entirely new set of risks for the 21st-century layman.
While it isn’t necessary for you to understand the intricacies of how your devices work, you should at the very least understand the risks you are assuming when using them, and what you can do to mitigate these.
In this article, we’re going to cover two fast and effective ways you secure your devices, avoiding a cyberattack or a violation of your privacy.
What is a data blocker?
USB data blockers are often also referred to as USB condoms. Yep! You heard that right.
While that might be a little bit more graphic than you were expecting to find on our FAQs page, it does create a surprisingly accurate metaphor for how a USB data blocker works.
USB charging cables serve 2 main purposes:
To carry electrical current to charge your device
To allow the transportation of data to and from your device
So just like our condom metaphor, while you might just be looking to get a bit of energy, other unwanted things might be transferred back and forth in the process.
This free movement of data while you’re innocently charging your device provides hackers with the opportunity to send malware across to your device that could corrupt or even steal your data.
Data blockers take care of this problem by cutting off the data connection and only providing an AC connection to your device.
Why should I use a data blocker?
These days, almost all phone chargers are USB cables that can be plugged into:
An adapter which then goes into an AC power outlet
A USB power point or charging kiosk
Devices that have USB ports such as a laptop or desktop computer
These last two options provide a great opportunity for hackers to access your device.
Power points can be easily rigged to add malware to your device and when plugging into a computer at an internet cafe or somewhere similar, there’s really no knowing what kind of malicious software they might have running on there.
These kinds of attacks are often designed to corrupt or steal data from your device without you even realising until it’s too late.
While the District Attorney’s Office recommends the use of portable chargers, AC power outlets, or car chargers if you want to avoid being hacked, these options might not be available to you when you’re most in need.
That’s why making sure you’ve always got a USB data blocker to hand will help you stay protected when you’re getting desperate for more juice.
What is a webcam cover?
A webcam cover is a small window that you can stick over the camera on your computer. The window has a shutter that you can manually close, giving you 100% peace of mind that no one’s watching you on the other end.
Why should I use a webcam cover?
You’ve probably heard of the name, Edward Snowden by now. And even if you don’t know exactly what happened to him, it might sound familiar that in 2013 he revealed that the US National Security Agency (NSA) was and most likely still is up to some real sketchy business.
He shared an estimated 1.5 million confidential documents from the NSA. Within these documents, there was information confirming that the NSA, as well as other surveillance agencies such as the British GCHQ, have been accessing and hijacking webcams and microphones of every-day citizens whether they were intelligence targets or not.
It could have already happened to you and you wouldn’t even know about it.
So, that raises the question: If they can do it, can’t anyone do it?
That’s exactly right! Cybercriminals, sextortionists, law enforcement, and even school districts have all been doing this kind of spying for years now.
We’re not accusing you of doing anything you shouldn’t be doing in front of your webcam. But we believe that what you do in privacy should be exactly that… private.