How can I disable the webcam?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by JohnR101, Feb 28, 2011.

  1. JohnR101 macrumors newbie

    Feb 28, 2011
    I have a late 2009 MBP and I would like to disable the webcam. I asked this on another forum but the users weren't too well-versed with Macs so they re-directed me to this forum. They said something about the driver for the webcam but also said it might not help. Here is the issue:

    Somehow I think I was hacked and some videos of myself (along with sound) doing private activities (sleeping, changing, studying, etc.) were shared with certain individuals. Obviously I reported this to the authorities but they seem to be doing nothing about it.

    I never use the webcam on the MBP, but now I put a piece of duct tape over it. However, this looks very unpleasing and was trying to figure out a cleaner solution but was wondering first if I could disable the webcam entirely first. I've never used it to take pictures/record videos/webcam chat at all so I don't really need it. The other forum I asked on said that if a hacker was skilled enough to remotely enable my webcam/microphone, they could probably re-install the driver as well. They told me to ask on here where people are more familiar with Macs, so here I am.

    Any suggestions?
  2. bobfitz14 macrumors 65816


    Oct 14, 2008
  3. Awjvail macrumors 6502

    Nov 21, 2010
  4. kirk.davis macrumors newbie

    Mar 25, 2006
    Stop wan*ing in front of your computer?!?!? :confused:

    Sorry, someone was going to say it :)
  5. macgeek18 macrumors 68000


    Sep 8, 2009
    Northern California
    "IF" you were hacked. Slow them down by blocking all connections in security in your system preferences pane. :) That will not let anyone or anything through. Do you have any of the sharing options checked in sharing pane? If so uncheck them. Do you let "questionable" people use your computer? That might have something to do with it. Hope I was somewhat helpful.
  6. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Have you given anyone physical access to your Mac, or have you installed any software from less than reputable sources? Also, do you only suspect that images were shared with others, or did you actually see such images? It's pretty rare that a Mac user would be hacked remotely, or at all.

    Putting tape over the lens is the simplest method and you can use any color tape to make it look better. I wouldn't start disabling features of your Mac without solid proof that a hack had actually occurred. I wouldn't accept anyone's word that you were hacked. Get proof.
  7. JohnR101 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 28, 2011
  8. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    Did you install software you didn't pay for or click on random links from emails or shady web sites? Did you install any "video codecs"?

    If the person think he / she is "hacked" on a Mac then the person is unable to do something like that.
  9. Awjvail macrumors 6502

    Nov 21, 2010
  10. Bwilky macrumors regular

    Jan 7, 2008
    A) If your sleeping, you turn your computer off/or sleep it. They cannot view your webcam,
    B) If your wanking, and you see the green light turn on. GTFO, somones creeping
  11. JohnR101 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 28, 2011
    I'd prefer taking the hardware route, and I'm very, very paranoid now. I still need to use the internet though, so I can't block everything :p

    No, no sharing options are checked. I'm the only one using this laptop unless someone is breaking into my apartment and secretly using it but I don't really suspect that...but it's something to consider...

    But thanks for the advice anyway.

    Again, I don't share this laptop with anyone, I leave it at home (I live alone) so unless someone is breaking into my home just to access my laptop I think that's less likely.

    I can't say for sure about installing shady software...not that I can think of; I don't download too many things. I mostly browse the internet and visit a ton of sites so maybe it was a link I clicked or something, I'm not sure. I don't think it was random though because the vids were shared amongst a group of people I know online, who in turn showed me (which is how I was notified and what prompted my paranoia).

    I'm not sure how to get proof...I've already re-installed Snow Leopard to get rid of whatever it was, but now that I think about it, maybe there was some logs or something that someone technical could've analyzed...ugh...

    Oh well, as long as I have tape I feel relatively safe. I don't really mind the mic since I don't talk to myself at home, but is there a way to disable that too?

    Edit: Okay, I think the hardware solutions to my problems that I have been looking for have been answered thus so far...Thank you all
  12. mikeo007 macrumors 65816

    Mar 18, 2010
    How do you figure? Are you implying that unauthorized access to a Mac is impossible? Or are you implying that the OP is unable to twist a few screws?
  13. AdamRock macrumors 6502a


    Aug 30, 2010
    whenever the camera is in use the green light will be on, and why do you leave your mbp open? start closing the lid.
  14. JohnR101 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 28, 2011
    Maybe I am blind, but I don't notice any green light other than the one on the power cord...where does the green light illuminate from?
  15. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    System Preferences > Sound > Output > Output Volume > Mute
    It's not visible unless it's on. Launch Photo Booth to turn on your cam and you'll see it right next to the cam. There's no way for the cam to be on without the light.
  16. ddoolin0 macrumors regular

    Feb 24, 2011
    That's a pretty naive opinion, as the OPs definition of "hacked" is probably even more broad than you're taking it to be, and most of us picked up on this. Either way, Macs are in no way uncrackable.

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