Amidst privacy concerns with tech giants such as Facebook and Google, many people are finding that their mobile phone has been able to provide highly targeted ads even with little browsing being done on their device. A conclusion that has been drawn is that mobile apps and even the phone have been listening in on conversations even when the phone app is not being used in order to get the data to target the ads. Although the reliability of these accusations have not been completely proven, many people have found various ways to increase their privacy be limiting their microphone access to certain apps. As a result, this article discusses ways in which users can block their microphone for certain apps so that it cannot listen in on conversations.
On Android devices, it is extremely easy to restrict microphone access to multiple apps through the Settings app. To do this, users first need to go to their Settings app, Apps tab, and then select the different apps that they would like to limit access to. For example, users can select Facebook to see which permissions have been granted to the app and then limit what it has access to so that it does not listen in on conversations. From there, users are also able to limit other access points such as the camera or location services if they are not essential to the app. For those who wish to increase the privacy on their device by stopping apps from being able to access the microphone and potentially listen in on conversations to display targeted ads, this method is able to quickly stop the different apps from having this level of access.
For iOS devices, it is just as easy to restrict the access of the microphone to apps such as Facebook through the Settings app. With this, users need to first go to into their Settings app and then scroll down until they find the app that they want to restrict access to. In this case, users would scroll down until they get to the Facebook app and then click on it. From there, users can see exactly what kind of access a particular app has so that it can be restricted if it is not essential to the performance. For example, the Facebook app may have access to the microphone, the GPS, and camera at which point users would be able to select which one they want to restrict. With this, users can effectively stop apps from having too much access to the phone to ensure the greatest degree of privacy.
A tip with regards to limiting microphone access is to ensure users review what permissions they are giving to the different apps that are installed. Often, users do not carefully read what the app has access to and so they give access to all of the requested functions without knowing what the consequences are. Therefore, it is highly recommended that users always review the permissions that are requested when installing an app instead of simply agreeing without reading.
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As an increasing number of people are concerned about the access that apps have on their mobile phone, the methods listed in this article are able to restrict different kinds of permissions that the apps have such as to the microphone. Given that rumors have risen regarding apps that listen in on conversations to give more targeted ads, it is now more important than ever to be careful with the different permissions that are given to apps which this article encourages.