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.

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    Destroying the internal mic, and having an external one which you plug only when you actually use it? Jan 20, 2017 at 21:37

1 Answer 1


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.

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