Following a story two weeks ago that Mark Zuckerberg taped his computer camera and microphone apparently to prevent someone from remotely listening in on conversations, we gave possible reasons for the rather unconventional behaviour. You might be wondering if that’s the best way to go about it protecting yourself if you feel you could fall victim to this. Well I came across an article by Mashable that suggested that simply taping your camera and microphone is not enough, you would have to “connect a pair of earbuds that include a microphone into your 3.5mm audio jack, then snip off the earbud with the mic on it — usually the right one — just below the mic” to achieve a total block of remote audio pickup.
“When you plug in earbuds with a built-in mic, your computer automatically changes its default audio input from the internal mic to the new external mic. Then, when you sever the line to the microphone, the computer doesn’t change back to the internal mic, and it can’t receive any audio from the (now missing) external mic, either.”
While there are applications that protect people against such attacks, sometimes it’s the simple things that prove to be effective in the end.