Are you still using Facebook? 3 ways to make sure he’s not listening
I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been asked, “Are my devices listening?” ”
I will tell you this: they are always tuned in to the buzzword, and tech companies admit that intelligent assistants misunderstand commands more often than any of us would like. Tap or click to prevent your smart assistants from hearing what you say, accidentally or not. By the way, Google users won’t need to use a wake-up word at all thanks to the new “Quick Phrases” feature.
What about the apps on our phones or the websites we open on our computers and tablets? This answer depends on the permissions you have granted. Tap or click here for a quick and easy tip to see which apps have recently accessed your camera or microphone.
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If you want to feel really safe digital ears don’t spy, you need to dive into your settings.
1. Change your permissions
Before we dive into the steps, let’s be clear. Facebook says it’s not listening. In 2016, when rumors circulated that Facebook overheard your conversations, it said it only used the mic when you allowed it. Facebook has stated that it does not use what you say to deliver advertisements or content to you.
How to check Facebook micro permissions on iPhone:
- Open Settings, scroll to your apps and select Facebook.
- You will see a list of permissions. Slide the seesaw next to Microphone on the left to turn it off.
Here’s how to check your mic settings on a Mac.
- Click it Apple menu, so System Preferences.
- To select Security and confidentiality, then open the Privacy tab. To select Microphone.
All the apps that have access to your microphone will be listed here. Toggle the sliders of the apps you want to revoke to the left to turn them off.
To check what Facebook has access to on Android:
- Faucet Settings, so Apps and notifications.
- Scroll to Facebook > Authorizations. You will see a list of all permissions requested by Facebook here.
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Finally, check which apps or programs have access to your microphone on a PC running Windows 10:
- Click on the Start button> Settings > Privacy.
- In the left menu under App permissions, click Microphone.
The first option, “Microphone access for this device”, is a system-wide setting. If you deactivate this option, no application can access your microphone. Scrolling down a bit, you’ll see a list of apps from the Microsoft Store that can use the microphone. Toggle the slider to enable or disable authorization.
The next section displays the desktop apps that have microphone permissions. Keep in mind that you are probably visiting Facebook in your web browser. This means that you need to determine whether to turn off your browser’s microphone access or at least ask sites to ask for permission every time.
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2. Get a microphone blocker
If you want to go further, you can totally block your mic. Business gadgets like Microphone lock trick your computer into thinking a microphone is plugged in. These affordable anti-spy devices have no listening capabilities and prevent audio from being recorded.
Mic-Lock manufactures microphone blockers for USB and Lightning connections, as well as traditional 3.5mm jacks.
Note: If you buy the standard Mic-Lock and use a newer iPhone without a headphone jack, you will need to use one of these Lightning to 3.5mm headphone jack converters.
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3. Or DIY your own mic blocker
Want a simple, inexpensive method to block audio? Take a pair of inexpensive headphones and cut the cord near the outlet. Now plug it into your computer or phone without worrying about the input of live sound.
If you don’t have inexpensive headphones, you can get a pair from Amazon for less than $ 10.
Bonus tip: 1 minute of technical advice
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Discover all the latest technologies on The Kim Komando show, the nation’s biggest weekend radio talk show. Kim takes calls and provides advice on today’s digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to online privacy and data hacks. For his daily tips, free newsletters and more, visit his website at Komando.com.