The Microphone Blocker
For all of us tin-foil hat-wearing people, I want to talk about IT security devices.
These are devices that will enhance your overall security by fixing “design flaws” in your everyday IT equipment.
First, let me state that I’m not representing or recommending any of these products. I’m not receiving any money to promote one product over the other. I’m simply letting you know of features that these products have and you can use this or a similar product to fix.
I can tell you that many government organizations use the devices in all their laptops.
These do work as advertised, however, there is a catch that they don’t tell you. The concept here is to put this blank or dummy 3.5mm adapter into the headphone/microphone slot to “short out” the microphone so someone can’t listen in on your activities through your laptop (this device does not do any damage to your device). The catch is that most modern laptops have two microphones, one for the 3.5mm jack and one built into the bezel around the screen for the web camera. Even if your laptop doesn’t have a web camera, the wiring and sometimes, the microphone are still there. All they do is add the camera module to the wiring harness if you ordered a web camera.
Since this microphone is different from the one in the 3.5mm jack, this microphone is often not “shorted out” when you use one of these adapters (this varies by device make and model).
So the question that needs to be asked is how they are selling these, and why is the government using similar devices?
As I said earlier, they do work and they are 100% effective. And most operating systems will detect the insertion of the adapter into the 3.5mm jack and make that the primary microphone device. But what if someone has hacked into your device? Yeah right, now you are really grasping. But, Am I? If you don’t believe that someone could remotely hack or control your laptop, then why are you interested in this device to begin with.
This device only provides protection from someone eavesdropping and the only way that they can eavesdrop is if they are somehow connected to your device while you are using it. And if someone is connected to your device and could possibly listen in, then they likely would have enough control to switch which microphone is the one “listening”.
For the record, I have used one of these on my laptop for many years now and I will continue, it does afford basic protection from eavesdropping.