The Team of soomz.io sent me her webcam cover in the "Gold Edition" a few days ago - free to try out. I took a closer look at the product and would like to give you a little information about it. The company soomz.io has mainly dedicated itself to products that are intended to ward off hacker attacks that can arrive in various ways. In addition to webcam covers, the Swiss company's portfolio also includes privacy films and RFID shielding films.
Chapter in this post:
Not science fiction: webcam hacking
How important the issue of webcam masking can be in practice, I personally only realized after seeing in Mr. Robot how quickly dedicated, malicious people can tap into the webcam in someone else's computer. And the scenario shown there with a Trojans on a USB stick is definitely not unrealistic. Well, with my MacBook you would also have to give me a USB-C adapter for the infected USB stick, but it is not impossible to take over the webcam on hacked laptops.
Software protection is not 100% secure
Although you can with Antivirus programs and the like to protect against Trojans, but if it is a malicious program that the virus scanner does not yet know, it will not work at first. The only 100% secure way against such espionage attacks is, in principle, to physically cover the webcam. The Mac still has the program oversightthat uses a message window to indicate when a program wants to access the webcam, but whether this cannot be bypassed in the worst case is questionable.
Tape up the webcam or close it with a slider
If you practically never use the webcam, you can stick it with a small adhesive dot. That is powerful and in my tests There was never any residue left on the iPhone's front camera. On the other hand, those who frequently use Facetime with friends will prefer a solution in which they can temporarily free the camera from the aperture. For these cases there are webcam covers that are stuck over the camera, but the closure can be pushed back and forth.
This is where the product from soomz.io comes into play again, because the cover offers exactly this possibility. The gold version that I received is a model made entirely of metal. A circle is cut out on one side of the metal guide for the cover, through which the camera can “look out”. So that you don't have to work with glue, the back of the webcam cover is already self-adhesive, so that the cover can be positioned and glued on very easily.
Attention during assembly
Before you put on the webcam cover, however, you should check whether your cell phone, tablet or laptop still has any sensors or flash LEDs next to the camera. This was not the case with my iPad Pro in the picture, but on the iPhone X, for example, the cover cannot be attached without covering the point projector for the Face ID verification, which is placed to the right of the front camera. On the other hand is the speaker, so there's just not enough room for a sliding webcam cover. In this case I would use a little glue dot to cover the Facetime camera. These can also be removed and reapplied several times.
With most laptops, mounting the soomz.io webcam cover shouldn't pose a problem. On the one hand, there are still no models that also have a Face ID user ID built in and, on the other hand, there is usually more space available here, so that there is enough space around the camera for a webcam cover with a sliding plate.
Conclusion on the soomz.io webcam cover
I had read quite a few user reviews of such webcam covers. A problem that often occurs is the loss of the small, round plate when you put the smartphone or tablet in a pocket. With most covers of this type, the plate is only magnetic and thus adheres to the guide that is attached to the smartphone or tablet. This allows it to come off easily and then be lost.
With the soomz.io cover, however, the small plate is firmly connected to the guide. I tried to detach it from the guide with my fingernail but failed. In this way the main problem is solved. However, moving the plate is very easy and, if necessary, can be done with a finger directly before a Facetime call within a few moments.
From my point of view, an all-round successful product. The small covers from soomz.io are also available in a wide variety of colors and designs (soccer ball, Swiss flag, smiley face or eye). There should be something for everyone. : D
If you want to buy such a cover, you can find the complete selection in Amazon shop from soomz.io or here the two most common variants (Set of 3 in black made of metal or a Set of three plastic colors):
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Jens has been running the blog since 2012. He acts as Sir Apfelot for his readers and helps them with technical problems. In his spare time he rides electric unicycles, takes photos (preferably with the iPhone, of course), climbs around in the Hessian mountains or hikes with the family. His articles deal with Apple products, news from the world of drones or solutions to current bugs.
The page contains affiliate links / images: Amazon.de