How to know if your iPhone is listening to you

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Imagine having a simple conversation with a friend or family member. Your child wants a specific toy for the holidays, you’re considering trying a different hair product, you need new sunglasses.

Of course, the first place you look for these products is sites like Google or Amazon. But before you can even get to the search bar, ads pop up on your phone screen for the exact products you just talked about.

It could be a coincidence, but it’s important to make sure nothing suspicious is going on.

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Are our smartphones always listening to us?

The answer is actually yes and no.

4 SIMPLE AND POWERFUL TIPS TO MAKE YOUR IPHONE CALCULATOR UNDER HAND

What are voice recognition assistants and should I be concerned?

Smartphones often have built-in voice recognition assistants that can help us find answers to questions, such as the Apple iPhone feature known as Siri. But these assistants are designed to listen to us only when instructed (e.g. “Hey Siri, what song is currently playing?”).

How do I know if my device is listening to me?

There are also built-in microphones in every smartphone and your device should alert you when the microphone is being used to record you. When your microphone is in use, an orange dot will appear in the top right corner of your screen, just above your Wi-Fi and battery icons. You can also swipe down from the top of your screen to see which apps on your phone are using the microphone.

Your smartphone is also designed to keep track of your data and search history.

This allows companies to send you personalized ads based on items you’ve clicked or previously researched, enticing you to consume more of their products. It’s more of a tool they use to get into your wallet than to get your personal information.

APPLE’S REPLACEMENT FOR THE PASSWORD

How can I prevent my phone from listening to me?

Just because our smartphones can listen to us doesn’t mean we should allow them. Here are a few simple steps you can take to limit your phone’s listening access:

1) Disable your voice recognition assistant

Turn off Siri

  • Go to Settings
  • Click “Siri & Search”
  • Uncheck the following options: Listen for “Hey Siri”, Press the side button for Siri, and Allow Siri when locked
  • A pop-up window will ask you if you want to disable Siri. Click “Disable Siri”.

This allows companies to send you personalized ads based on items you’ve clicked or previously researched, enticing you to consume more of their products.
(Kurt Knutson)

Turn off Google Assistant

  • Go to Settings
  • Select Google
  • Click Account Services
  • Click Search, Assistant & Speech
  • Select Voice
  • Select Voice Match
  • Turn off “Hey Google”.

2) Disable your microphone on all your applications

DO YOU HAVE AN IPHONE? DON’T WAIT ANOTHER SECOND TO UPDATE CRITICAL PRIVACY SETTINGS

How to stop your iOS device from listening to you

  • Click Settings
  • Scroll down to an application (Facebook, Snapchat, etc.)
  • Turn off the Microphone option.
There are also built-in microphones in every smartphone and your device should alert you when the microphone is being used to record you.

There are also built-in microphones in every smartphone and your device should alert you when the microphone is being used to record you.
(Kurt Knutson)

If your phone has malware, scammers are listening

Finally, one more important consideration. If your device is running slowly and you are getting strange popups on your phone, your device might be infected with malware. You may have accidentally clicked on a link that looked legitimate, when in fact it was a link to install malware. If you have malware, scammers can do several things, including monitor you and install software on your device that mimics clicks and generates revenue for the scammer.

Your phone can be "listen" to you without you knowing.

Your phone may be “listening” to you without you being aware of it.
(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images, File)

Lock your technology

My greatest desire is to educate and inform you about the increased real threat to each of our connected devices and encourage you to use strong antivirus protection for everything in your life that is connected to the rest of the world. The best way to protect yourself is to install antivirus software on your devices.

HOW TO FIND YOUR LOST IPHONE

Our top recommendation, TotalAV, includes both real-time anti-malware protection and advanced AI-driven cloud protection, protecting your PC, Mac, Android and iPhone devices from the very latest zero-day threats.

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It’s worth a small price to pay to keep your personal information, data and all your devices safe from hackers.

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It's worth a small price to pay to keep your personal information, data and all your devices safe from hackers.

It’s worth a small price to pay to keep your personal information, data and all your devices safe from hackers.
(Kurt Knutson)

For more privacy tips, subscribe to the CyberGuy Report newsletter at CyberGuy.com/Newsletter.

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Copyright 2023 CyberGuy.com. All rights reserved. CyberGuy.com articles and content may contain affiliate links that earn a commission when purchases are made.

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.

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