It seems everyone is seeking more privacy and security in their computing experience. I cannot say as I blame them, I am in that group as well. One thing people make a big deal about is the FaceTime camera built into the Mac. Can someone watch you through this camera or not? Can the FaceTime camera be hacked? Some people say yes, some say no. Either way, I want to look at one area of camera security that is so obvious people just over look it.
FaceTime Camera Security
People go to great lengths securing the FaceTime camera on their Mac. Some people put a Post-it Note over it. Others use special software that monitors any video usage on the Mac. Some people go so far as to disable the camera altogether in the macOS. 1
Perhaps these measures are necessary, but there is one other thing you can do right in System Preferences that would be helpful. You have to go into the Security & Privacy Preference Pane:
Then, click on Camera in the left sidebar to see what Apps are automatically allowed to use your FaceTime camera:
If you see an App in that list on the right that you do not want accessing your camera, just uncheck it. If you really want to get extreme, you can uncheck everything in that list! Your security is in your hands.
While we are on the subject, you can do the same thing for the Microphone:
Obviously this is not the most important security measure you can take with the camera and microphone on your Mac. However, it should be on the list of things you can check if you are security conscious.
It only takes about 60 seconds to go into the Security & Privacy area to do these checks. I think you should do it for peace of mind if not for anything else.
- Yes, it can be done. It is complicated and I don’t recommend it. ↩