Are you all ready for this? This will be the post in which my inner paranoid freak comes out. Fair warning.
We’ve all heard the horror stories: some creep hijacks a baby monitor, messes with the way it transmits sound, and begins saying horrible things to a sleeping infant only to be caught by the parents; a sexual predator remotely takes control of a web cam and snaps inappropriate photographs of women, children, or couples and solicits them on the internet. I am sure the list could go on and on and horror stories abound. Cue my paranoia: I have children- three beautiful, innocent girls- who I let play games on my computer and who may or may not inadvertently turn on the built-in web cam on my computer, and who may or may not realize a camera is activated. At the top of my list of fears surrounding my children and technology is this idea that a sicko could obtain photographs of my children- innocent photographs of them simply smiling at a game-filled screen or snapping “selfies”- that might be used for horrible, disgusting purposes. Protecting my children when it comes to technology is vitally important to me; one might say I’m passionate about it.
While not specifically promoted as protection from prying eyes as they relate to hijacked web cams, iShutter is a simple, easy way to prevent electronic intruders from snapping unwanted pictures using the built-in web cam on one’s personal computer. Marketed as a way to prevent “potentially awkward moments when your web cam is enabled during online conversation or conference calls”, iShutter is simply this: a thin, almost unnoticeable magnetic strip that one can slide over the lends of the built-in web cam to prevent an enabled camera from transmitting a picture. Easy peasy, and seriously one of those products you look at and think, “why didn’t I come up with this?!”
iShutter is easy to use: simply put the strip along the top of the computer screen, where the camera lens is, and the product will adhere magnetically. When it is necessary to use the web cam, simply slide the strip so that the hole is over the lens. When the camera isn’t in play, or it isn’t necessary for it to be uncovered, simply slide the strip so that the hole is beyond the lens and the actual strip is covering it. Like I said: simple. I had been worried about how strong the magnet would be because when it came in the mail it had shifted off the magnetic packaging and my first thought was, “no way this is going to stick to my laptop, which I open and close 9 times a day…” Wrong. Magnet works wonderfully; concern gone.
I can’t complain about this product. I don’t want to have to install pricy software to protect against any type of web cam malfunction or electronic intrusion (and seriously- the paranoid part of me thinks a really great hacker could probably find a way around that pricy software, right?)…I’m not great at software installation and it frustrates me. iShutter is user friendly (aka dummy proof) and it’s the right price: $19.99. It’s not available on the market yet, but can be pre-ordered by visiting the iShutter Web site at http://ishutter.co. iShutter is designed for use with the MacBook Pro or MacBook Air laptop.