Why You Should Put a Post-It Over Your Laptop Camera | WBEZ
Skip to main content

Note to Self

Why You Should Put a Post-It Over Your Laptop Camera

How much would it take for someone to hack your life? And really, how worried do you actually need to be?

For most of us, this question stays in the realm of the hypothetical. For others, it only turns into a question after the worst has happened. For tech journalist Kevin Roose, co-host of Fusion's new documentary series Real Future, it was a chance to be the human embodiment of a Fortune 500 company. On this week's Note to Self, hear what happened when Roose asked some of the best hackers in the world to put him through a "penetration test," or a "pen test." 

As he explains it:

"Basically Coca Cola will bring in a hacker and say 'I want you to spend a month trying as hard as you can  to get into our systems, exploit vulnerabilities, take advantage of weaknesses and report back to us what you found so we could fix it.' And I thought, 'What if I could do the personal version of that?'"

Using tactics from fake programs to remote desktop takeovers, to a simple YouTube video of some crying babies... Roose figured out exactly how much damage it's possible to do.

Spoiler: This episode will make you want to put a PIN on your phone provider account. It'll possibly make you want to download a security program like Little Snitch. At very least, it will probably make you want to cover up the camera on your computer.

Traditional 'white hat hacker" Dan Tentler got a lot farther than Roose thought he would. (Note To Self)

 Subscribe to Note to Self on iTunesStitcherTuneInI Heart Radio, or anywhere else using our RSS feed.

Get the WBEZ App

Download the best live and on-demand public radio experience. Find out more.