Apple is urging MacBook users not to cover their cameras - here's why

Apple has now warned customers camera covers could damage a MacBook, MacBook Air or MacBook Pro.
Apple has now warned customers camera covers could damage a MacBook, MacBook Air or MacBook Pro. (Shutterstock)

As online privacy concerns continue to grow, some laptop users choose to cover their built-in webcams to prevent potential hackers using their camera to spy on private moments.

However, Apple has now warned customers that this could actually damage a MacBook, MacBook Air or MacBook Pro.

How can covering my camera damage my laptop?

The tech giant is urging customers not to take such an action in the hopes of protecting their privacy, explaining, “If you close your Mac notebook with a camera cover installed, you might damage your display because the clearance between the display and the keyboard is designed to very tight tolerances.

“Covering the built-in camera might also interfere with the ambient light sensor and prevent features such as automatic brightness and True Tone from working.”

How can I ensure my camera hasn’t been hacked?

An alternative to using a camera cover, Apple suggests its customers simply control which apps have access to the camera.

Apple explained, “Before any app can use your camera in macOS Mojave or later, you must first give it permission. To see which apps have permission to use your camera and to revoke or grant app access, find out how to control access to the camera on your Mac in System Preferences.”

Another security measure provided by Apple is the camera indicator light.

The tech company said, “The FaceTime HD camera built into your Mac computer is designed with your privacy in mind and uses a camera indicator light that glows green when the camera is active. So you will always know when the camera is on.

“The camera is engineered so that it can’t be activated without the camera indicator light also turning on. This is how you can tell if your camera is on.”

No thicker than a piece of paper

However the tech company did state that if you are required to cover your camera, for example at work, you should try to use as thin a cover as possible, ideally no thicker than a sheet of paper.

According to Apple, if the cover is thicker than 0.1 mm, you should “remove the camera cover before closing your computer.”