Listen

Is there something I can do to turn off the camera and microphone on my Windows 10 laptop, so that they can only be turned on with my consent?

@frameacloud You could disable them entirely using your Windows settings, then only turn them on when you're using an application where you have an actual need to do so.

@salameleon

Holy moly, I hope it's that easy! I'll try it out and see if apps turn them back on without my consent.

@frameacloud Just open the Windows 10 settings and search for microphone. You'll find microphone privacy settings like this. Scroll down and you can also turn off access for desktop apps, though that is a binary on-or-off for all of them collectively.

@frameacloud If anything is overriding your OS level settings to get access to your mic or camera (which has a near-identical settings dialog) then it should be treated as malware and dealt with accordingly.

@frameacloud

There's always the lowtech failsafe of just putting a piece of electrical tape over the camera. Though of course you run the risk of getting tape residue on the lens.

@aearo

Yeah! I tape a small square of cardstock over the camera, so I don't get any tape residue on the camera itself. There isn't an analog solution like that for the laptop's mic, as far as I can figure.

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