Laptops, tablets, and smart phones have become tools of the trade for every type of business and even personal life, from social singles to parents trying to stay on top of home purchases and back-to-school supplies. But cyber scholars now wonder if we tell our devices too much, or worse, if they still watch and listen to us when we don’t know it.
Shockingly, microphones and even speakers built into our computers have the capacity to listen to us if we get hacked with the right malware. Yes, earphones and speakers can easily be turned into microphones because the same sound concepts are involved. Researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel have flipped the switch on earbuds plugged into computers with a popular audio chip, used in most computing hardware, to prove how easy it is.
“So many of the devices we use on a daily basis are internet-enabled devices with microphones and cameras,” says Tom Blanchard of Sterling Technology Solutions, an IT services and security firm in Charlotte, NC. “We all assume a certain amount of risk to gain the conveniences these devices provide to our lives.”
Even tech giants like Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg have appeared in a now-famous photo with tape over his laptop camera. Effective, yes, but also inelegant. Simple, effective, yet attractive ways to block cameras and built-in microphones or speakers exist.
A Private Eyes™ privacy lens cover for the web cam on your computer is as simple as it gets — an attractive, professional-looking “window” that you can open when you need to use the camera, or close to cover it up. The “window cover” includes a space for your company logo, and makes a great promo item for employees.
And for the microphone? One option is opening your laptop or device and removing the microphone or sound chip — but who wants to disable those completely? Another choice is installing blocking software that may trip when you don’t want it to, like during a conference call.
Or you can use a simple “microphone blocker” that can be plugged into your audio and/or microphone jacks to “trick” the audio functions into believing a device is plugged in, when it isn’t. In most cases, innate speakers and mics are disabled when a jack is plugged in, and that would be enough to fool hackers who tried to breach your device.
The PrivateEars™ is one microphone blocker designed to protect personal audio from potential hackers. The aluminum jack is compact and lightweight, and designed to plug into your device to divert audio from potential hackers. Like Private Eyes™, its surface also provides a branding opportunity for your company logo.
Both Private Eyes™ and PrivateEars™ devices are available for your protection — and that of your clients and friends — with logo and branding provided by The Dunstan Group. These cost-effective and practical pieces will keep your company name or message in front of your audience with a product they’ll use each and every day!
Listen to more from Tom Blanchard of Sterling Technology Solutions on this previous episode of the award-winning BrandBuilders Podcast. http://dunstangroup.blubrry.net/2018/06/08/tom-blanchard-sterling-technology-solutions/