Apps that eavesdrop on you, that’s how you prevent it

It’s possible for apps like this to eavesdrop on you, but it’s very unlikely to happen on a large scale. However, if you want to be on the safe side, there’s one thing you can do: don’t allow apps to use your microphone. In this article you will find out how to do that very easily.

Immediately revoke access to microphone and camera

Since the arrival of Android 12, Google has made it easier for anyone to turn off the camera and microphone whenever they want. There are two buttons in the quick settings for that. In fact, an app that wants to use the camera or microphone at that moment still has permission, but your phone sends an unusable camera and audio feed, as if the sensors are not working.

Here’s how to find the switches:

  1. Swipe down on your phone and swipe down again to see all quick settings
  2. Swipe right until you see the buttons Camera access and Microphone access sees
  3. If you don’t see them, you need to add them first. Press the button with it pen
  4. Drag the buttons to the desired position in the quick settings and press the back button

If an app now wants to use your camera or microphone, you will see a green indicator at the top right of the screen. Tap the switch in quick settings to check which app or service is using your camera or microphone. Tap again to adjust that app’s permissions. This way you determine which apps have access to your microphone and camera.

Which apps use the camera and microphone on your phone

In Android 12 there is one Privacy dashboard added, which is basically a menu that gives you more information about the permissions that apps use on your phone. At a glance you can see which apps have access to the camera, microphone or your location. You can set here directly per app whether you want to revoke those permissions. To do this, follow the steps below. Note: these may differ per brand of phone.

Here’s how to find the Privacy Dashboard:

  1. Open the Institutions from your phone
  2. Choose Security and privacy -> Privacy
  3. Tap on Privacy dashboard

Apps that eavesdrop on you, that's how you prevent it

Note: Some apps may not function without access to your microphone. For example, it’s understandable that you can’t make video calls through WhatsApp if the app doesn’t have permission to use your microphone.

Have you ever felt that apps are eavesdropping on you? Share your experiences and thoughts below in the comments!

AW Basics tips

This is an AW Basics article. AW Basics are articles for those who want to know more about the basics of Android, or their Android phone. Although these howtos, tips, and background articles are interesting for both beginners and experts! View all our AW Basics here!

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