Today almost all laptops come with an integrated webcam. The built-in camera comes handy on various occasions such as making a video call on Skype or recording a short video. But the fact is webcams are a threat to your privacy. When not in use, you should keep your webcam disabled or unplugged from your computer. In this article, we will show you how to disable the integrated or built-in webcam in your laptop.
How to disable webcam in Windows?
- Start your computer and open the Device Manager. It can be done in several ways: a) press the Windows Key+X and select Device Manager from the menu; b) Press Windows Key+R to open the run box and type devmgmt.msc in the box and press the Enter button or c) use Windows Search charm to find and open the Device Manager.
- In the Device manager, locate your Webcam. Usually it is under Imaging Devices. If it is not there, check under Sound, video and game controllers etc.
- Right-click on the name of the Integrated Camera and select Disable from the context menu.
- A confirmation message will appear. Press OK button to confirm.
That’s it! You have just disabled your built-in or integrated webcam. Keep it that way until you need to use the webcam. The integrated webcam can be re-enabled easily. The procedure is almost same. You just need to select enable instead of disable in the step 3 above. The steps to enable an webcam is mentioned below.
How to enable webcam in Windows?
- Open Windows Device Manager.
- Locate your webcam name in the list of the devices.
- Right click on the name of your webcam and select Enable from the context menu.
- Confirm the prompt by pressing OK.
About Webcam Safety:
Webcams on poorly protected computers can easily be compromised or hacked. There are various malicious software which could easily take over your webcam. It may also pave ways for hackers. Webcam hijacking or hacking can lead to various serious consequences including breach of data, spying and illegal streaming of private footage.
Please note that disabling your webcam can’t guarantee protection. If your computer is compromised and the hackers already dropped some Trojan into it, disabling the camera won’t help you. And how a computer is compromised? Through a malicious software. Right? A good antivirus and a good firewall would never allow a malicious application to enter your computer. So, to ensure the safety of your webcam and the whole system, you must rely on a tough antivirus, a smart firewall and a combination of other security measures and best practices.
Some points for Webcam Safety:
- Keep your computer secure by using up-to-date security software. Simply installing an Antivirus is not enough. Install one of the best firewalls.
- If your computer has an integrated webcam, keep it disabled when not in use.
- If you use an external webcam, disconnect it from your computer when not in use.
- Keep an eye on the webcam indicator light on your laptop. If it keeps blinking unexpectedly or intermittently, there is a chance that it is already transmitting something. Disable it as soon as possible.
- If you are reluctant to disable your webcam, at least keep lens covered by using a cloth or a duct tape.
- Take extra precautions when you have kids at home.