Privacy Tip: How To Keep Smartphone & Computer Microphones from Listening In

They Just Want to Know YOU

Seems like every week there’s another story about privacy and how someone wants to invade it.  Perhaps you heard about how Shazam was called out because it was using mic access to record all the time . . even when the app was off!  The Privacy issues are usually related to an app—like Insta or Shazam or Facebook.

We hear it all the time

More and more people are telling us that something they simply talked about or watched on TV, that particular topic weirdly showed up in an ad on Facebook.  Well,  it could be the microphone access on the  FB Messenger app on your phone or another app. . Just like Shazam,  these apps could be randomly or continually pulling audio off the  internal mic. In other words, it’s always listening.

Facebook says they’re not  spying on you and that they do not have the capability – but our experience leads us to find that hard to believe – and their privacy policy language is quite tricky.

Today, there ‘s a new technology

Hundreds of apps that can listen through a microphone and get information about you  in a whole new way.

My friend Colleen just sent me a link to a story from Wired. It’s about how some retail stores and even some websites, have beacon technologies that send out infrared audio signals that we can’t hear, but the microphones in our phones CAN hear. The technology is used to know where we are, what we’re doing, even what we’re looking at.

It’s not too widespread YET – it’s mostly limited to Android phones, but it’s coming!

The Good News is YOU are in  Control

These apps access your microphone IF you allow them to. You may have enabled microphone permissions and not even realized it. So, head over to your iphone Privacy (the hand icon) right now, and check to see what the Microphone is listening to.

It’s easy.  Here’s how:

Microphone Privacy Check

–On an iPhone Under Setting > click Privacy >under privacy> click microphone, here you’ll see a list of the apps you have that want to access your mic. Toggle to disable.

With Android it’s under Settings> then Apps> and each app is individually listed.

The story about  Beacons mentions that these work even without a data or WIFI  connection. Hmmm…So, that brings up a question that I do get asked a lot: “Can my phone or computer hear me even when it’s OFF?”

I don’t know. It’s not supposed to work that way- But if you’re worried about it, I have a great answer. It’s this:

Faraday cage for phone and laptop prevent EMF and PrivacySilent Pocket: For when you want to be absolutely positively, private. And there’s a sweet side benefit: No EMFs and no sound. Nothing in and nothing out.

And let’s not forget your computer. It has a mic, too.

If you have a PC or a Mac head to System Prefs > Sound and turn the input volume way down  . . .How To disable Microphone

Or our personal favorite

Use a Creep Blocker Decal over the Microphone  I love my Creep Blocker Privacy Stickers. They give you both webcam and microphone privacy in a fun, creative and happy way!

 

Webcam covers to prevent spying

Creep Blocker Sweet Edition

Webcam covers to prevent spying

Creep Blocker BOLD edition

 

We hope you’ll try any of these simple steps to make sure your business STAYS your business.

xo August and the Safertech team

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