Computer privacy is serious business, especially since hacking attempts can take control of your built-in webcam and even turn it on without your permission. It’s a fairly common tactic for ransomware and other malware, and the webcam on your desktop or laptop usually doesn’t have a physical cover to help protect against these things. Phone and tablet cameras may be similarly at risk.
A great solution to that problem is a small webcam cover that can physically block your camera lens and then allow you to uncover it when necessary for video chats (while you use some trustworthy antivirus software for additional protection). But quality and compatibility are very important for these covers, which is why we’re picking out the best ones, starting with the excellent Cimkiz pack.
Note: These covers don’t work on pop-up webcams — but then, a pop-up cam takes care of the problem by itself. You can also check out our favorite external webcams, which usually come with their own built-in cover options.
Cimkiz WB01 and WB02-2 Cover six-pack
These little covers have a particularly durable adhesive that’s still designed to peel off if necessary but keeps a firm bond for the long term and is designed for desktops, laptops, phones, and more. We also really like that the pack comes with two different color options, black and silver, for better matching a variety of computer models. They are also quite thin for covers, only 0.027 inches thick, which allows laptops to fully close without problems.
Trobing Webcam Cover six-pack
We like this matte Trobing cover for one reason in particular: It comes with minimalist little troughs in the slider that allow for easier gripping. So many webcam covers skip this important step and are therefore difficult to shut unless you have sturdy fingers — and this, in turn, raises the chances of accidentally peeling off the cover. Trobing fixes this problem by making it easy to generate a little friction. While it’s not as thin as our top pick, the covers are only 0.03 inches thick, so they shouldn’t get in the way no matter what device you use them on.
Targus Spy Guard
If durability is your primary concern, this Targus cover is built for extra solid, reliable protection. It also has a unique design that makes the cover very easy to operate without fear of accidentally tearing it off or having it slide open again without you noticing. The cover comes in a one-pack, a three-pack, and a 10-pack. The three-pack model has three different colors in it so you can mix and match depending on your device’s color. At 0.05 inches, it’s not especially thin, but it’s still a great pick if you are more interested in tough protection.
Cooloo Webcam Cover six-pack
If time is of the essence for your office, check out Cooloo’s superthin six-pack. Cooloo’s design may be basic, but it checks all the necessary boxes. At just 0.027 inches, they’re the same thickness as our top pick, so they’re very nonintrusive. These covers are also compatible with laptops (including MacBooks), tablets, and more. They’re not recommended for use on phones, however.
Supcase Webcam Cover six-pack
Supcase’s covers aren’t as subtle as some of their competitors, but they’re extremely functional and have the advantage of being available in two different sizes. Perhaps you aren’t sure what size webcam cover you need for your particular webcam. In that case, Supcase has you covered by supplying two sizes (max and small) to ensure you’ll get the right one for your device. These covers are expected to be compatible with most laptops, smartphones, desktops, and more. They’re pretty thin, about 0.02 inches (o.5 mm), so they shouldn’t get in the way of you closing certain devices.
camJAMR Online Privacy Stickers
Privacy stickers are the best option if you don’t want to mess with the complexity of applying sliding covers. You can find them in several sizes and designs, and you can keep them over your webcam for extended periods of protection.
But don’t worry — the adhesive in the camJAMR stickers lets you stick and unstick them hundreds of times, so you can remove the stickers easily when you want to use your camera. Plus, the sticker has a handy pull tab that makes removal easier than you think. This particular offering on Amazon comes with three packs of stickers for a total of 51 stickers of various sizes.
In general, we’d recommend looking at non-sticker options if you use your camera a lot, but stickers are a great alternative if you go for long periods without using your device’s camera.