Beacon Technology, Apps, Shazam: Are Listening. Here’s How to Stop Them

Seems like every week there’s another story about privacy and how someone wants to invade it. Perhaps you heard about how Shazam was called out because it was using mic access to record all the time . . even when the app was off! The Privacy issues are usually related to a an app — like Insta or Shazam or Facebook

We hear it all the time

More and more people are telling us that something they simply talked about or watched on TV, wierdly showed up in an ad on Facebook. Well, it could be the microphone access on the FB Messenger app on your phone or another app. . Just like Shazam, these apps could be randomly or continually pulling audio off the internal mic. In other words, always listening. Facebook says their not spying on you and does not have the capability.

Today, there ‘s a new technology

Hundreds of apps that can listen through phones microphone and get information about you in a whole new way.

My friend Colleen just sent me a link to a story from Wired. It’s about how some retail stores and some websites even, have Beacons that send out infrared audio signals that we can’t hear, but the microphones in our phones CAN hear. The technology is used to know where we are, what we’re doing, what we’re looking at.

It’s not too widespread YET it’s mostly limited to Android phones, but it’s coming!

The Good News is YOU are in Control

These apps access your microphone IF you allow them to.

You may have enabled microphone permissions and not even known — so just so you do know — head over to your iphone Privacy (the hand icon) right now, and check to see what the Microphone is listening to. It’s easy. Here’s how:

With your phone, apps need to have your mic enabled to get a signal. That’s how it works. They ask permission and you give it to them. Sometimes you don’t know you gave to them — But you do have control-.

And you can check anytime — it’s easy

— On an iPhone Under Setting > click Privacy >under privacy> click microphone, here you’ll see a list of the apps you have that want to access your mic. Toggle to disable.

With Android it’s under Settings> then Apps> and each app is individually listed.

The story about mentions that these work beacons even without a data or WIFI connection. HMMM Sp that brings up a question that I do get asked a lot Can my phone or computer hear me even when it’s OFF?

I don’t know. It’s not supposed to work that way- But if you’re worried about it . I have a great answer. It’s this:

-a Silent Pocket. For when you want to be absolutely postively private. And there’s a sweet side benefit: No Emf’s and no sound. Nothing in and nothing out.

And let’s not forget your computer. It has a mic too

If you have a PC or a Mac head to System Prefs > Sound and turn the input volume way down . . .

Or our personal favorite

Use a Creep Blocker Decal over the Mic. I love my Creep Blocker Privacy Stickers. They Give you Webcam and Microphone Privacy in a fun, creative and happy way!

We hope you’ll try any of these simple steps to make sure your business STAYS your business.

xo August and the Safertech team