Pope Francis and Mark Zuckerberg use the same simple trick to protect themselves from hackers

Not too long ago Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg did it, and now the pope is doing it.

Covering up your webcam with a little strip of tape is the new hip thing — at least if you’re trying to avoid the peering eyes of hackers. 

A photo circulating Twitter shows Pope Francis getting in on the trend. He’s seen looking over his personal iPad, with a circular piece of tape carefully placed over the webcam.

The photo — originally shot by the Vatican newspaper a year ago — is just going viral now, after it was tweeted out by security researcher Collin Anderson on Tuesday.

As it made the rounds on Twitter, some users grew obsessed with finding out what that tiny white sticker with a red symbol on it really was. (The most plausible theory: It’s  the coat of arms for the Holy See and Vatican City State.)

While it might seem a little intense, a set of creepy eyes sitting on the other end of that tiny webcam is a very real possibility. And it can happen in a number of ways. Internet-connected webcams can be hacked by those who find their way onto your wi-fi network. Meanwhile, a computer-connected webcam — like that tiny black circle sitting right above your laptop screen — can also be controlled by hackers, as previously explained by Mashable.

“Hackers can access these cameras through malware,” Mashable‘s Kellen Beck wrote. “If you accidentally click a bad link or download the wrong file, that malware could contain executable code to turn on your webcam and send that video feed to a website or save it somewhere else.”

Looks like the pope knows his stuff.

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