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Apple, Google, Amazon, and Facebook are all the time listening unless you modify these settings

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I exploit my voice to get loads done. Siri sets meetings for me, silences my phone, and much more. Tap or click for five easy voice commands you’ll use on a regular basis.

An Amazon Echo can show you how to find your phone, lock the front door and drop in to speak with family members. Tap or click for the things I all the time ask Alexa to assist with.

What’s the downside of always-on devices that listen for commands? Nearly all voice-activated technology uses microphones that listen for “wake words.” Which means they’re, technically, all the time listening.

If you desire to take control of your privacy, here’s tips on how to stop your smart devices from listening.

Foiling Facebook

Facebook sometimes requests access to the microphone for video chatting and text-to-speech purposes. You may not feel comfortable giving Facebook control of your mic. You may follow these steps for any app you desire to block mic access to.

Note: There are various Android manufacturers, so the steps outlined in this text may differ out of your model. If that’s the case, check along with your model’s online manual. 

For iPhone:

  • Open the Settings app. Then, scroll down and tap Facebook.
  • Toggle the green switch next to Microphone to the off position.

You too can follow these steps:

  • Open the Settings app. Then, scroll down and tap Privacy & Security.
  • Locate the menu labeled Microphone and tap it.
  • Find Facebook within the list of apps and toggle the green switch to the off position.

For Android:

  • Open the Settings app, then tap Apps.
  • Tap the app you desire to change, on this case Facebook.
  • Select Permissions. To alter a permission setting, tap it, then select from these options: Allow only while using the app, Ask each time, or Don’t allow.

In case you determine to shoot a video or chat with a friend, return to those settings and enable your mic. You may all the time switch it off again while you’re finished.

A Facebook logo.
(Reuters Photos)

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Stopping voice assistants

It’s common knowledge that virtual assistants can pick up snippets of personal conversations in case you say something that feels like the wake word. One study outlined 1,000 phrases that tripped up Alexa, Siri, Cortana and Google.

In case you’re apprehensive about your gadget’s always-on microphone, listed here are the steps to show it off. Just know you’re trading some convenience for privacy.

Amazon Echo

  • In your Echo device, find the button that appears like a microphone or a circle with a line through it.
  • Push the button. This stops the device from passing voltage through the mic’s internals.
  • In case you wish to make use of Alexa, simply press the button again. You may all the time turn the mic off when not in use or during a personal conversation.

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Siri

  • Open the Settings app in your iPhone. Scroll down and tap Siri & Search.
  • Toggle the green switch next to “Listen for ‘Hey Siri’” to the off position.
  • You too can turn off Allow Siri When Locked to forestall Siri from activating if a button is pressed in your pocket.

The new AirPods feature the convenience of

The brand new AirPods feature the convenience of “Hey Siri” making it easier to alter songs, make a call, adjust the quantity or get directions.
(Apple)

Google Assistant

On Android:

  • Open the Settings app in your phone, then select Apps.
  • Under General, tap Assistant, then See all Assistant Settings.
  • From here, you’ll be able to click the toggle to show off “Hey Google.”

On iOS:

  • Open the Settings app. Scroll down and tap Privacy & Security.
  • Locate the menu labeled Microphone and tap it.
  • Find Google Assistant within the list of apps and toggle the green switch to the off position.

Cortana on Windows 10

  • Click the Start Menu button, then Settings.
  • Click Privacy > Voice Activation.
  • Locate Microphone on the left-hand panel and click on it.
  • Scroll right down to Cortana and toggle the Microphone permission to off.

Cortana on Windows 11

  • Click the Start Menu button, then Settings.
  • Click Privacy & Security > Voice Activation.
  • Under Let apps access voice activation services, disable Cortana.

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Smart security systems listen, too

Even home security devices have always-listening microphones. You may disable audio recording on two popular home security devices: Google Nest and Amazon Ring.

Google Nest

  • Open the Nest app in your smartphone and choose the camera on the house screen.
  • Tap Settings.
  • Select Microphone. Then, tap the switch to show it off.

Amazon Ring

  • Open the Ring app in your smartphone and choose the device you prefer to to mute.
  • Tap Device Settings followed by Video Settings.
  • Tap on the Audio Streaming and Recording toggle to show off the mic.

Nest Learning Thermostat displaying Google logo in smart home in Lafayette, California, January 17, 2021. 

Nest Learning Thermostat displaying Google logo in smart home in Lafayette, California, January 17, 2021. 
(Photo by Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images)

Your smart TV

If you desire to stop your smart TV from listening to you and scanning your channel-surfing history, take a look at our detailed guide to disabling these features on TVs made by Samsung, VIZIO, LG and more.

Tap or click here to see the simplest ways to stop your smart TV from tracking you

Keep your tech-know going

My popular podcast known as “Kim Komando Today.” It’s a solid half-hour of tech news, suggestions, and callers with tech questions such as you from everywhere in the country. Seek for it wherever you get your podcasts. On your convenience, hit the link below for a recent episode.

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Plus, tips on how to save big money with smart water tech, know files hackers use essentially the most, the five worst tech gadgets that steal your privacy and callers such as you.

Take a look at my podcast “Kim Komando Today” on Apple, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or your favorite podcast player.

Take heed to the podcast here or wherever you get your podcasts. Just seek for my last name, “Komando.”

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Get more tech know-how on The Kim Komando Show, broadcast on 425+ radio stations and available as a podcast. Enroll for Kim’s 5-minute free morning roundup for the most recent security breaches and tech news. Need assistance? Drop your query for Kim here.

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