Malware can target camera and microphone and make them secretly record what's going on around the laptop. However, defeating camera spyware can easily be done with a piece of tape, something the FBI chief recommends people to do.

But, is there any similar low-tech, preferably foolproof and reasonable approach to protecting against spyware audio recording? Physically removing the microphone? Wrapping tin foil around the laptop? (I'm using Windows.)

A similar question exists, but it concerns Linux only.

  • 1
    Destroying the internal mic, and having an external one which you plug only when you actually use it? – André Borie Jan 20 '17 at 21:37

In a VICE interview Snowden removes a mobile phones internal speakers, then plugs a headphone set in when he wants to actually have a conversation.

Short of precision de-soldering you could try to jam it up with something, I don't believe new microphones in laptops and mobile phones have a diaphragm but you could at least muffle the speaker by pushing glue up against it.

Some laptops and mobile devices may on a hardware level disable the on-board microphone when an external line in is plugged in to the microphone jack, so you could plug in a dummy microphone to stop it listening.

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.