Zuckerberg’s MacBook causes a stir after Instagram reaches half a billion users


A photo of Mark Zuckerberg celebrating the Facebook-owned app reaching 500 million monthly active users has created a bit of a stir online.

Eagle-eyed viewers noticed tape covering his MacBook Pro’s webcam and microphone, highlighting that no matter how important or famous you are, basic measures to protect your privacy should be carried out.

Although Facebook has not commented on the picture, this action will have been taken because hackers can attack webcams, making use of attachments which contain malware to gain control of the webcam remotely.

They can capture pictures and videos without the knowledge of the owner, and may then threaten to publish sensitive media online unless the victim pays a ransom.

Of course, the best practice would be to ensure your laptop and accessories are protected against malware, but as a further safety precaution, it is highly recommended to cover up your microphones and webcams when you are not using them.

Zuckerberg is not the only high-profile person known to take this action. James Comey, FBI director, has said that he too covers up his webcam to prevent cybercriminals spying on him.

The photo-sharing app Instagram was bought by Zuckerberg’s Facebook in 2012, for approximately $1bn (£677m), and this week revealed a number of impressive statistics about the app. 80 per cent of the 500 million users are based outside of the US, while, on average, 95 million photos or videos are posted on a daily basis.

Despite only launching in 2010, Instagram’s drastic expansion has seen it overtake Twitter in user numbers, while Snapchat, the major competitor for a young audience, lags behind with around 100 million users.

Photo courtesy of Facebook