How to know if your apps are spying on you and how to stop them from doing it


At some point, everyone has wondered if they were ever being listened to or even watched by their phones. In this era of aggressive advertisements, the algorithms are becoming scarily accurate, which is why many users suspect that their apps might be listening through the phone.

Whether your Instagram ads are too accurate or you are afraid of hackers installing malicious surveillance malware on your smartphone, Android 12 has the solution for you. Android’s new operative system released by Google, now will include an amazing Privacy Feature providing you with a visual warning of a possible surveillance situation over your smartphone.

Up to date, Android included the Permission Manager feature, which allows us to limit how some apps use important components like the microphone, camera, storage, or any other component. While this feature can help limit malicious apps from surveilling you, it can only do so much against them, however, with Android 12, your privacy will be protected.

How will Android 12 protect your privacy?

Google looked at how apple approached this security issue and decided to do something similar for the new operative system. The new Privacy Feature on Android 12 is a requisite for all original equipment manufacturers like Samsung, Xiaomi, or any other company installing Android on their products.

With the inclusion of the privacy indicator, users will now have more control over what apps use their microphone and camera, how they use it, and when. In the following section, we explain everything you need to know about this new feature.

How to use the privacy identifiers on Android 12

Understanding how the new Privacy Feature on Android 12 works, is relatively easy. When an app uses the camera or microphone on your phone, Android will show a privacy indicator. The indicator looks like a small green bubble, featuring the icon for the microphone or camera. This indicator will be located right next to where you see the status of your battery.

It is important to understand that the icon shows if any app is using the device, and not only the app on top. This means that if you use your smartphone to talk over the phone with a friend and you go to check Instagram, the privacy icon will keep on showing for as long as you are talking over the microphone.

If you want to know which app is using which device, just tap open your notifications, and tap the privacy icon. By doing this, you will be able to know exactly which apps are using the microphone, the camera, or any other component.

To stop an app from using the microphone or camera, tap on that particular icon. When you do this, your smartphone will take you to the app’s permissions, where you can revoke the app from using that particular component.

Now there is even a Privacy Dashboard

To make it even more interesting and detailed, Android 12 will now even include a Privacy Dashboard which will be located on your settings. In this section of your phone, you can learn how many apps know your location, use your phone, camera, and even learn interesting details about your smartphone’s privacy. Here you can also set some controls to protect your privacy even more.