Android or iOS – your device is at some point in time listening to everything that you are saying. And, the best example is the suggestions that it makes at the time. You would probably ask – is my phone recording me?
Let’s say, you and your special one were talking about planning a dream holiday together when sometime later (hours or a day after the conversation), offers for the flight for the same started to flash. What happened next? You were happy but at the same time flabbergasted, wasn’t it?
In the blog that ensues, we shall talk about how your phone listens to you and keeps track of your activities. To further this awareness, we shall also talk about a few ways you can undertake to stop your phone from tracking.
How Is My Phone Recording Me Or Listening To Me?
First, let’s have a small peep into how can your device even listen to your whispers –
Your conversations are recorded through your microphone, and there are various apps and social media sites that use it as data to market things. Also, when you nonchalantly summon your Google Assistant or Siri, you might not even realize, but your audio is being recorded, and the possibility is that it is even transcribed.
So, How To Stop Your Phone From Listening To You Or Even Watching You?
1. Don’t Let Apps Use Your Mic Or Camera
Not just for one app, do it for all the apps that you think don’t need your mic. Let’s discuss how you can disable mic on both an Android and iOS device –
In Android, you can manually change the microphone permissions for every single app that is installed on your device. Now, depending on the model, you have the process may vary a little –
Settings > Apps > App Name > App settings > Permissions
If the app uses a microphone or camera, then you can slide the option to the left and disable it.
Open the Settings, and enter the word “permissions” in the search bar, and choose App permissions. Here, you will see all the apps that are using a microphone. You can individually slide the bar to the left for any app, which you don’t want to use your microphone.
You can either go the individual app and change the microphone settings by following the path mentioned below
Settings > App Name > Settings (in the sub-menu) and slide the microphone switch to the left.
You can use the Privacy settings to turn off microphone permissions. For this –
Go to Settings > Privacy > Microphone/ Camera > Look for the app and toggle the switch to left
2. Disable “OK Google” And “Hey Siri’
Fear that your voice recordings might not be handled correctly. You might as well disable both “OK Google” and “Hey Siri”. Let’s see how this can be done –
Disable OK Google
Settings > Personal > Language and Input > Google Voice Typing > Settings button > OK Google
And, then Turn OK Google slider to Off
Disable Hey Siri
Open the Settings > Siri and Search, and then toggle the Listen for ‘Hey Siri’ to off
3. Only Install Trusted App From Trusted Sources
You might have heard it a zillion times, and we’d like to reiterate what many wise techies have already stated – always download apps from trusted sources. If you think that an app that you are planning to install is fishy, it’s better not to have it on your device.
4. Delete Voice Recordings From Google
Think that your Google recordings are transcribed? Here’s what you can do completely erase those recordings.
Go to myaccount.google.com. Now log into your account. Go to Data & personalization. Then under Activity controls click on Web & App Activity and then click on Manage Activity. Click on the hamburger icon on the left and choose Delete activity by > All time (click on the dropdown)> Voice & Audio, and select delete.
Can My Phone Still Record Me?
While these were some preventive measures you can take to stop your phone from listening or seeing you, you still need to be on your guard. It would help if you were vigilant of what data you are sharing on social media and with others.