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Written on Macbook Privacy Kit

Macbook Privacy Kit

Everyone needs encouragement. Motivating yourself only works to a certain extent. A accountability partner encourages you to get more out of yourself.

Almost everybody that I see using a laptop has their webcam covered. By covering your webcam with a sticker or piece of tape it becomes useless for every hacker. You can buy many more elegant covers online that you can slide in front of the lens. This got me thinking, are there more ways to protect your laptop?

Data Blocker

These are also called 'usb condoms'. It's a USB port with the two middle pins removed. Those are the 'data' pins so only power can travel trough the port and you can still charge your devices with any USB port. Especially useful if you want to charge the laptop on public ports like plains or libraries. Those ports can contain software that can siphon your data or install malware. Both PortaPow and Privise make excellent blockers or you can create your own.

Microphone Blocker

You can put a microphone blocker into the 3.5m jack port of your device and prevent eavesdropping. Most blockers use a small circuit to simulate a live microphone. The device switches to the blocker as the primary microphone and mimicks a microphone while it's actually blocking audio input. Privise and Mic Lock create these blockers which you can buy online.

Microphone blockers aren't always a solid solution. They won't work all the time and many modern devices have other ways they can be compromised.

Privacy Screen Filter

You've might seen people use these on trains and plains, a Screen Privacy Filter. I work a lot with student data while commuting but don't use one regularly. I've tried them but they reduce the light coming from the screen and thus impacts color reproduction. Some variants aren't permanent you can easily clip them on or off.

Security Keys

Paul guide to ubikeys.
Tweakers guide to yubico keys

This article was also added to my 'projects' page with additional links to more products and alternatives.

Danny de Vries