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.
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:
Silent 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 . . .
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!
We hope you’ll try any of these simple steps to make sure your business STAYS your business.
xo August and the Safertech team
Shazam--Recording and ON even when it's OFF - https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/shazam-keeps-your-macs-microphone-always-on-even-when-you-turn-it-off
How Hundreds of Apps can listen through your microphone - https://www.wired.com/2017/05/hundreds-apps-can-listen-beacons-cant-hear/