How To Stop Your Phone From Listening To You?

(Last Updated On: August 30, 2023)

If you have a smartphone, it’s almost listening to you on some level. Popular virtual assistants like Siri work by responding to your suggestions and can listen to any app that has access to your microphone if you let them. In this article, we will explore privacy issues related to our phones listening to us. We will explore how to stop your phone from listening to you and how using mobile security apps can help protect our personal information online.

Siri first arrived in 2011, followed by Google Assistant, Alexa and Cortana. Each application is designed to support the user by providing a service, making a phone call, sending a text, or adding an item to a to-do list.

So, “Is my phone listening to me?” That shouldn’t be a question. Instead, ask yourself, “How much does my phone listen to me?” and “What did my phone do with the conversation it collected?”

Let’s explore this question to find out what we really mean when we say our phones are listening to us..

Why is My Phone Listening to Me?

First, our cell phone listen to us and around it to support us virtually through apps such as “Siri” and “Hey Google”, but also through personal ads after the conversation. See, sometimes it’s no coincidence that you just served an ad that was directly relevant to the phone conversation.

How To Stop Your Phone From Listening To You

It’s similar to how search engines track our work to ensure they deliver the most relevant results and ads. In this case, you can think of your smartphone as a verbal search engine. These devices and the software they contain can also track the Internet.

So, the next time you call “Hey Google” or “Siri”, know that it’s like opening a browser window. Your information may often be collected for advertising or marketing purposes.

Is My Phone Listening to Me Legally?

Yes, it is legal for your phone to listen to you. That’s because when we receive a software update requirement or app download with some terms and conditions that we needs to accept to continue with updates or download, here we give our phone permission to listen to us with those apps. Those terms generally allows apps to collect your information so that they can use all the features and conveniences of our voice-activated apps and services.

It should be noted that the phone can also listen to our privacy illegally. When we didn’t allow those apps to listen by not agreeing to terms, and they still listen by some spyware or other malwares. That’s why it’s always smart to limit the permissions you give apps and review the terms of new apps that request microphone access.

Should I be Concerned my Phone is Listening to Me?

In general, you don’t have to worry too much about them listening to your calls. Hey, you can also rate personal ads that come from it. Of course, if you’re uncomfortable with your data being collected, it’s your data — after all, there are ways to stop your phone from being tapped or listen.

How To Stop Your Phone From Listening To You?

How To Stop Your Phone From Listening To You? Of course, just like you can cover the webcam, you can stop your microphone with some tape or buy a special phone case to prevent listening to your phone. But a safer approach is to check the microphone permission given by the app and disable the virtual assistant.

How To Stop Your Phone From Listening To You

In short, turn off the microphone permissions to avoid eavesdropping on your phone.

How to Turn Off Your Microphone on iPhone

If you’re wondering, “Is my iPhone recording me” or “Is Siri always listening,” it’s better to understand how to turn off your microphone on your iPhone. Here is how to turn off your microphone on iPhones.

  1. Navigate to Settings > Siri & Search
  2. Toggle off the following items:
    • “Listen for ‘Hey Siri’”
    • “Press Side button for Siri”
    •  “Allow Siri When Locked” 
  3. Finally, when a pop-up window appears, tap “Turn Off Siri.” 

And that’s how you disable Siri.

How to Turn off Your Microphone on Android

In order to turn off “Hey Google” or to stop “OK Google,” you can follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to Settings.
  2. Select Google > Account Services > Search, Assistant & Voice > Voice.
  3. Select Voice Match and, toggle off “Hey Google.” 

That’s it. You turned off “Hey Google” and disable “Hey Google.”

How to Disable Microphone Access Across Applications

In addition to disabling virtual assistant apps like Siri and Hey Google, you can also prevent other apps like social media platforms from accessing your microphone.

  • To turn off microphone access on an iOS device, go to Settings > [specific apps] > Settings, then simply turn off Microphone.
  • To turn off microphone access on an Android device, go to Settings > Apps > Application manager > [specific apps] > Permissions and select “Turn off microphone.”

Conclusion (How To Stop Your Phone From Listening To You?)

While the fear of our phones constantly listening to us is often exaggerated, it’s important to take steps to protect our privacy. By understanding app permissions, managing them diligently, and staying informed about security practices, you can enjoy the convenience of your smartphone without compromising your personal space.

Also Read: How to save money on energy: What you need to know and energy-saving tips that work

FAQs (How To Stop Your Phone From Listening To You?)

  1. Can my phone really listen to me all the time? No, your phone’s voice assistant may respond to specific wake words, but it’s not actively recording your conversations.
  2. Are app permissions that important? Yes, app permissions determine what access an app has to your phone’s features and data. Be cautious and grant only necessary permissions.
  3. Should I avoid using voice assistants entirely? It’s a personal choice. If privacy concerns you, disabling voice assistants is an option, but they can be useful too.
  4. How often should I review app permissions? It’s a good practice to review permissions whenever you install an app and periodically thereafter, especially if your app usage changes.
  5. Do privacy screen protectors affect display quality? Privacy screen protectors may slightly reduce visibility from side angles, but the impact on regular viewing is minimal.

Also Read: 5 Subtle Ways You’re Unknowingly Sharing Your Personal Data