Imagine you are having a simple conversation with a person friend or family member. Your child wants a special toy for the holidays, you want to try a different hair product, you need a new pair of sunglasses.

Of course, these are the first places where you can look for products Google or Amazon. But before you even hit the search bar, ads for the exact products you were talking about moments ago appear on your phone screen.

It could be a coincidence, but it’s important to know for sure that nothing suspicious is going on.

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Are our smartphones always listening to us?

The answer is really yes and no.

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What are voice recognition assistants and should I be concerned?

It is common in smartphones 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 listen to us only when we’re told to (i.e. “Hey Siri, what song is playing right now?”).

How can I tell if my device is listening to me?

Every smartphone also has built-in microphones, and your device should notify you when its microphone is being used to record you. When your microphone is in use, an orange dot should appear in the upper-right corner of your screen, just 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 track your data and browsing history.

This enables companies send you personalized ads based on things you’ve clicked on or previously explored, and entice you to consume more of their products. It’s more of a tool they use to access your wallet than to get your personal information.

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How can I restrict my phone from listening to me?

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

1) Turn off your voice recognition assistant

How to turn off Siri

  • Go to settings
  • Press the “Siri and Search” button
  • Turn off the following options: Listen for “Hey Siri”, Press the Side Button for Siri, and Allow Siri when Locked
  • A popup will ask if you want to turn off Siri. Click the “Turn off Siri” button.
This allows companies to send you personalized ads based on the products you've clicked on or previously explored, encouraging you to consume more of their products.

This allows companies to send you personalized ads based on the products you’ve clicked on or previously explored, encouraging you to consume more of their products.
(Kurt Knutsson)

How to turn off Google Assistant

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

2) Turn off your microphone in all your apps

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How to stop iOS device from listening to you

  • Click Settings
  • Scroll down to any app (Facebook, Snapchat, etc.).
  • Turn off the microphone option.
Every smartphone also has built-in microphones, and your device should notify you when its microphone is being used to record you.

Every smartphone also has built-in microphones, and your device should notify you when its microphone is being used to record you.
(Kurt Knutsson)

If you have malware on your phone, 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 might be infected with malware. You may have accidentally clicked on a link that looked legitimate, but it was actually a link to install malware. If you have malware, scammers can do a variety of things, including tracking you and installing software on your device that will mimic clicks and generate revenue for the scammer.

You may have a phone "to listen" to you without your knowledge.

Your phone is “eavesdropping” on you without you even realizing it.
(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images, File)

Turn off your tech

My greatest desire is to educate and inform you about the growing real threat to each of our connected devices and to encourage you to use strong antivirus security protection on everything connected to the other devices in your life. the world. The best way to protect yourself is to install antivirus software on your devices.

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Our best recommendation, TotalAV includes both real-time malware protection and advanced AI-driven cloud protection that protects your PC, Mac, Android and iPhone devices from the latest zero-day threats.

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It's a small price to pay to protect your personal information, data and all your devices from hackers.

It’s a small price to pay to protect your personal information, data and all your devices from hackers.
(Kurt Knutsson)

Don’t forget to subscribe to the CyberGuy Report Newsletter at CyberGuy.com/Newsletter for more privacy tips.

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