For years, MacBook users have slept easy knowing that their devices are less likely to get infected by malware. However, times have changed, and hackers have become increasingly intelligent with how they invade macOS. With this, many MacBook users have turned to camera covers as a secondary layer of protection against prying eyes.
Unfortunately, Apple has cautioned against the use of camera covers for the MacBook. So, while it’s never a bad idea to be proactive regarding your online privacy, here’s why you should never close your MacBook if you have a camera cover on it.
The Dangers of Using MacBook Camera Covers
In a support note, Apple mentions that closing your MacBook with a camera cover on it can damage the display. Due to the precise design of your MacBook, there is minimal clearance between your keyboard and screen. For this reason, the additional depth of a camera cover could create cracks on the display or make it difficult to close it properly.
In addition, Apple also mentions that covering its camera could also affect some MacBook features from working correctly. For example, the MacBook’s automatic brightness and True Tone features are dependent on the camera’s ambient light sensor, so covering the camera will impact its performance.
What Can You Do to Block Your MacBook Camera?
Thankfully, the MacBook already has existing mechanisms to let you know if your camera is on. When you turn on the MacBook camera, its indicator light will be activated. With this, you will instantly know if your camera is on without your consent when the green light appears.
If you’re still not sure sold on the idea of an uncovered camera, there are other steps you can take instead of using a camera cover. For example, you can manage the camera settings to limit app access to the camera. To do this, go to System Preferences > Security & Privacy > Camera. Next, uncheck the box next to every app you no longer want to have access to your MacBook camera. Then, close the lock icon to confirm your decision.
If you ever need to use the camera with an app again, you can always give access to it in the future. However, it’s important to note that pre-installed apps on a MacBook, like FaceTime and Photo Booth, will automatically have access to your camera.
What if Your Workplace Requires Camera Covers?
While it’s not recommended, the reality is that you sometimes won’t have much choice regarding camera covers. If your workplace requires covering your MacBook camera, Apple suggests making sure that the camera cover is no thicker than 0.1mm.
If you get a MacBook camera cover, you may want to consider opaque tape covers as well. With these, you can benefit from a blocked camera without the possibility of ruining your display. However, it’s best to ensure you don’t use a tape that leaves any adhesive residue, which could prevent your camera’s visibility.
Because Apple recommends not closing your MacBook with a camera cover, you can also simply remove it before calling it a day.
Manage Your MacBook Camera Safely
Regarding online safety, it’s essential to strike the right balance between privacy and utility. While Apple doesn’t recommend closing your MacBook with a camera cover, it already has a built-in mechanism to alert you when your camera is in use.
When it comes to the MacBook, the camera also plays a crucial role in several useful features. So it’s best to avoid tampering with your MacBook camera unnecessarily, to make sure your device works the way it was intended. Thankfully, there are plenty of other steps you can take, like manage your camera privacy settings.