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As amusing as it is to imagine some poor wretch has to watch your day-to-day routine — singing along to You Tube, searching for your ex on Instagram, and being depressed about breakups — the suddenly popular meme has origins in real-life privacy invasions.And as silly as it may sound, the FBI has previously been accused of using such techniques: back in 2013, a report by the Should you cover your webcam?"Can’t hurt, might help — I step out of the shower and send one or two emails in a towel (or less) every once in a while just like everyone else," said Tarah Wheeler, cybersecurity fellow at New America.That said, the FBI is most likely not spying on you through your webcam."One or two instances of RATs and teenagers being hacked for video through their webcams creates a lot of media clicks and hysteria, but the truth is that you should be much more concerned about your personal data than your webcam or your phone’s front-facing camera (which no one covers with a sticker)."Taping over your webcam is one way to keep your laptop or phone safe, but Wheeler also recommends the usual security basics: enable two-factor authentication, run automatic updates, turn on a firewall, backup your data in case you need to wipe your device clean, never click links from strangers, and use strong passwords or a password manager. "If you see your phone starting to flip through photos or it’s doing things you don’t understand or didn’t tell it to, power it off completely and take it to a reputable repair shop," Wheeler says.
"However, if you’re in school and generally minding your own business, the FBI probably isn’t watching you do your homework through your webcam." Plus, Wheeler notes that the FBI would likely need a warrant to watch you via your own webcam, and "to be honest, by the time the FBI has a warrant to surveil you, your webcam isn’t your problem anymore."However, there are others who could be watching through your webcam, and the stories of compromised cameras are genuinely terrifying: hackers taunting people and spying on women at home, blackmailing teens into sharing nude photos, and schools even keeping watch on their students.Hall recommends plastic covers that flip open or away for you to make a call.