We have recently been complaining more and more that other people have stopped listening to us attentively and hearing as a result. Sometimes we can witness how a girl is yelling, appealing to her boyfriend: “You are not listening to me at all!” Perhaps, it is true concerning the guy. However, you can be assured that your favorite smartphone which is about 15 hours in your hands every day listens to you sometimes or all the time. It has been already proved that there is no complete privacy on the Internet. All these advertisements that pop up on social media by chance are all intentional. So scared that are up to throw your new iPhone 11 Pro out the window? Stress less and read on how to identify bugging and protect yourself at least a little.
Our smartphones are a mine of personal information that we trust in private and business conversations, photos, videos, feelings, secrets, and other files that are not intended for everybody to know. However, we should not be so gullible, and keep an eye out.
So, what are the main signs to find out that your phone is listening to you or, God forbid, is being tapped by special services, government or “advertising spies”?
Pay attention: All large companies categorically reject any accusations of wiretapping and assure that they do not collect any information about the user for advertising or for any other purposes through the recording of voice. The representatives of Facebook also said that advertising is based only on information that users share on a social network, as well as on their searches on the Internet.
Basically, most of the suspicions arise precisely because of the popping-up of advertisements for those products that we did not look for, but only talked about them with someone. On one hand, this may really be just targeting, based on an in-depth study of our behavior on the Internet. On the other hand, applications listen to us and send information to developers.
Some people learned to ignore advertisements on the Internet, switching on “banner blindness” everywhere, when others are actively trying to figure out the reason for how “invisible Internet geniuses” guess to show so relevant ads. Here are some real stories to confirm that it’s not only about collecting information on interests or location, but it’s also about penetration into personal space offline. These people are convinced that their phones listened to them, and sent fragments of audio data to some servers.
“While walking around the park, my boyfriend paid attention to the newly opened museum and offer to visit it, but I didn’t want to. On the way home, we were discussing what kind of exhibition could be there, what exhibits could be displayed. Having returned home, we noticed that Instagram started to show the adverts about this very museum, although this had never happened before!”
“Having studied a lot of information about wiretapping the smartphones, I decided to test it on myself to completely assure how true it is. During a week, I uttered twice a day some phrases that could theoretically be triggers. “I’m going to Spain next month”, “I need to book an apartment in Barcelona”, “How to get from the airport to the city center in Barcelona?” Suddenly, social media began to offer taxi services in Spain, hotels in Barcelona, and all that jazz”.
“After a voice call with my friend on WhatsApp, I came across an ad on Facebook from Tiffany & Co advertising new bracelets. We were discussing the birthday present for me, and the friend offered to send me one of the bracelets that I have been dreaming for a long time”.
“I started learning French on Duolingo, and within one day I had adverts for all the products and services solely in French! How the hell is it possible?”
“My mother and I were discussing the options for sending money from our country abroad. In two days, I started noticing the ads of the services that could provide simple, fast and reliable money transfers… I had never googled them before, just had a chat with my mum regarding the issue”.
If you do not work with confidential information and are not a dangerous criminal, access to your data is necessary for advertisers only. It’s difficult to get away from being haunted at all, but you can take at least some steps.
If you are a fan of audio messages, then leave, for example, such an opportunity for WhatsApp or Viber, but it is better to disable the function for Facebook and Instagram that were likely to listen to us carefully to select and show the most relevant advertisements for our requests.
Please note: to check which apps have the permission to the microphone, go to Settings on your phone, find Privacy and Microphone. You will see a list of the apps you’ve allowed the microphone access to.
Whether you like or not but your phone is listening to you. Perhaps, not all the time but it does. However, to keep your privacy is not beyond your capabilities. Just take some precautionary measures, especially those which are connected with the access of the microphone for the applications. Then heave a sigh of relief, and keep your wig on!