How do you know if your iPhone is listening to you?

Imagine that you are having a simple conversation with a friend or family member. Your child wants a certain toy for the holiday, you’re thinking of trying a different hair product, and you need new sunglasses.

Of course, the first place you might look for these products is on sites like Google or Amazon. But before you can get to the search bar, ads pop up on your phone screen for the specific products you were just talking about moments ago.

It may be a coincidence, but it is important to know for sure that nothing is fishy.

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Are our smartphones always listening to us?

The answer is really yes and no.

4 Simple and Effective Tips to Master Your iPhone Calculator

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 only listen for us when asked (for example, “Hey Siri, what song is playing right now?”).

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

There are also microphones built into every smartphone, and your device should warn you when it uses its microphone to record you. When using the microphone, an orange dot should appear in the upper right corner of your screen, above the Wi-Fi and battery icons. You can also swipe down from the top of the 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 previously clicked on or searched for, causing you to consume more of their products. It is more of a tool they use to access your wallet than your personal information.

Apple’s alternative to password

How do I restrict my phone from listening to me?

Just because our smartphones can listen to us, doesn’t mean we have to let them. These are some easy steps you can take to limit listening access to your phone:

1) Turn off the voice recognition assistant

How to turn off Siri

  • Go to settings
  • Click on “Siri & Search”
  • Turn off the following options: Listen for “Hey Siri,” Press the side button for Siri, Allow Siri when locked
  • A popup will appear asking if you want to turn off Siri. Click Turn Off Siri.

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

How to turn off Google Assistant

  • Go to settings
  • Choose Google
  • Click Account Services
  • Click Search, Assistant, and Voice
  • Select the sound
  • Select Voice Match
  • Turn off “Hey Google”.

2) Turn off your microphone in all of your apps

Have you got an IPHONE? Don’t wait another second to update your critical privacy settings

How to prevent your iOS device from listening to you

  • Click Settings
  • Scroll down to any app (Facebook, Snapchat, etc.)
  • Turn off the microphone option.
There are also microphones built into every smartphone, and your device should warn you when it uses its microphone to record you.

There are also microphones built into every smartphone, and your device should warn you when it uses its microphone to record you.
(Kurt Knutson)

If your phone has malware, scammers are listening

Finally, another important consideration. If your device is running slow, and you are getting strange pop-ups on your phone, your device may be infected with malware. You may have accidentally clicked on a legitimate-looking link when it was, in fact, a link to install malware. If you have malware, scammers can do a variety of things including monitoring you and installing software on your device that simulates clicks and generate income for the scammer.

It might be your phone

Your phone may be “listening” to you without your awareness.
(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images, file)

Shut down your technology

My biggest desire is to educate you and inform you of the real growing threat to each of our connected devices and encourage you to use strong virus security protection on 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 phone

Our top recommendation, TotalAV includes real-time malware protection and advanced AI-powered cloud protection, which keeps your PCs, Macs, Androids, and iPhones protected from the latest zero-day threats.

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

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

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

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