Keep Your Phone From Spying on You

posted by Sarah Jacobs - 

It seems like everyone is talking about hackers and wiretaps these days. It may sound crazy, but it IS possible for someone to listen/watch you through your devices if you're not careful. You may end up looking like a nut to some of your friends, but here are a few simple ways to protect against breaches of privacy when using your "smart" devices:


1.  Put tape over your computer camera.  You'll feel like a conspiracy theorist, but it makes it impossible for hackers to use it.  You can also disable your mic.  Some people even crack open their laptop and REMOVE the microphone.

  

2.  Don't let every phone app track your location.  Some of them don't have the same level of security as things like Facebook and Google Maps.  So they might be easier to hack into.  You can change your tracking preferences in your settings.

  

3.  Update your phone's software.  Hackers are constantly creating fresh viruses, and finding new ways to hack into stuff.  A lot of those software updates include security fixes that make it harder.

  

4.  Turn off your phone's voice-recognition feature.  Newer phones have a "hands free" option, so you don't have to push the button to ask a question.  Like with new iPhones, you can just say "Hey Siri," and she'll respond.

 Meaning she's always listening in, waiting for you to say it.  Which could make it easier for hackers to listen in.  Google Home and Amazon Echos do it too.  But they both have a mute button that lets you turn the microphone on and off. 

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