How to understand if someone spies on us from the microphone (PC and smartphone)

Microphone indicatorGood privacy has become increasingly difficult to obtain, especially when we are surrounded by electronic devices capable of picking up at any time everything we say or the sounds emitted by the environment in which we live or work. If we particularly care about our privacy and do not want to be heard or spied on through the microphone of our PC or smartphone, in this guide we will show you how to tell if someone spies on us through a microphone, carrying out all the necessary checks on our PCs with Windows 10, on our Macs or MacBooks, on our Android smartphones or tablets, and on iPhones / iPads.

At the end of the check, we will be sure that we do not have any “spy” apps or apps that use microphone access permissions without our consent (or maybe they got our consent when we were in a hurry, taking advantage of our superficiality).

READ ALSO: Protect your PC’s webcam and microphone to avoid being spied on

How to check microphone usage

All modern computer and electronic devices offer options to check if someone spies on us via microphone: in the current state of things it is difficult to spy on the microphone without minimal user interaction (who must install an app or click on a specific link to start spying) or without very advanced hacking techniques (necessary to bypass the checks carried out by the operating systems). All of this is valid until we talk about environmental wiretapping: in this case, the methods to spy on people are very varied and are used by the police on the mandate of the judiciary to spy on suspects.

How to check microphone on Windows 10

On Windows 10 we can control which apps and programs have access to the webcam microphone or (to other connected microphones) by opening the Start menu at the bottom left, by clicking on Settings by pressing on the menu Privacy and opening the menu Microphone.

Windows microphone

Scrolling in the window we will be able to observe the access permissions to the microphone both for the apps downloaded from the Microsoft Store and for traditional programs; in the first case we can turn off the access to the microphone simply by deactivating the button next to the name of the app, while in the case of traditional programs we will have to open the program itself and change the settings relating to the microphone. If we want to get maximum privacy and leave microphone access only for “safe” apps, we suggest you disable the switch next to superfluous apps and uninstall programs that are suspicious or whose origin we do not know. To deepen this aspect we can read our guide How to remove programs manually without traces and errors (Windows).

READ ALSO: Spy on a PC and see how the computer is being used by others

How to check microphone on Mac

Even on the operating system of Macs and MacBooks, ie macOS, we can check if someone spies on us via microphone directly from the settings. To proceed we turn on our Mac, press the icon of the bitten apple at the top left, open the menu System Preferences, click on the icon Security and privacy, select the tab Privacy and finally let’s go to the menu Microphone.

Mac microphone

In the window, we will see all the apps and programs that have requested access to the microphone. If we find a program or app of which we do not know the origin of which should not be there, we can remove the checkmark next to its name and, once identified, we can also proceed with its uninstallation by opening the app Finder by clicking on the menu Applications on the left side, finding the spy app and, clicking with the right button on it, proceed with the cancellation by pressing on Move to trash.

How to check microphone on Android

Android smartphones and tablets tend to be the easiest devices to spy on since the operating system is not always up to date and, given its widespread use, not everyone carefully checks if the apps installed are spying on the microphone. To check the apps that have permission to access the microphone of our device, open the app Settings, let’s get to the menu Privacy -> Authorization management or in the menu Security -> Permissions and finally press on the menu Microphone.

Android microphone

On the screen that will open we will see all the apps that have requested access to the microphone or that have permission but have not yet “taken advantage” of it. If we notice some strange app or that we do not remember having installed, we proceed by removing the activation of the microphone (just press the button next to the name of the app) and immediately uninstall the suspicious app, so as to avoid subsequent activations. In this regard, we can read our guide Uninstall apps on Android completely, even all at once.

If we would like to have visual feedback of apps accessing the microphone, even when we are not using apps that explicitly use the microphone, we suggest you install the free Access Dots app, which provides a small bright spot at the top right whenever an app or process accesses the microphone and camera.

READ ALSO: Check/spy on another’s phone (Android)

How to check microphone on iPhone / iPad

On iPhone and iPad, with the arrival of iOS 14, visual feedback on access to the camera or microphone has been added: in these cases, a small orange, red or green dot will appear at the top right, so you can immediately find out if someone spies on us via microphone.

IPhone led

In addition to this instant check, we can always control the apps that access the microphone on Apple devices by opening the app Settings, pressing on the menu Privacy, and personally verifying the apps that access the microphone, disabling the ones we don’t know or have never installed. To significantly increase privacy when using the iPhone, we invite you to read the guide Privacy settings on the iPhone to be activated for protection.

READ ALSO: How to spy on an iPhone

Conclusions

Spying on the microphone is one of the prime targets of hackers, spies, or detectives, and for this reason operating systems have become much more selective in providing this permission. It is always better to check the menus and the apps seen above, so as to always know if someone spies on us through a microphone, perhaps capturing personal information or industrial secrets.

If we are afraid of having a spy app on the phone, we look for the presence of one of the apps seen in our guides Best apps to spy on mobile phones (Android and iPhone) is a Secret agent app for Android to spy, track locations, messages and more.

If, on the other hand, we are afraid that microphone spying is carried through Android viruses, we suggest you read the article Detect and remove spyware or malware on Android.

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