Even people who are in the deepest positions of cybersecurity will say that they feel like their privacy is not safe from their laptop camera or other potential ways that internet companies can gather data. We often hear news about big companies listening to our conversations when we aren’t aware, but most people seem to shrug it off. If you’re concerned about what data-hungry companies or governments are doing through your smartphone or laptop, read on to learn more about signs that your devices could be spying on you.
Practically everyone these days carries smartphones, and smart home technology is becoming more prevalent. It seems like there are very few ways to live without being in the line of sight of camera lenses most of the time. Before you can begin to reclaim your sense of privacy, you need to understand which devices could be monitoring you and in what ways.
In the case of your smartphone, one clue that it could be active is that it feels warm. If you aren’t doing anything with your phone, but it’s hot to the touch, it’s an indicator that the phone is active. When the phone is performing any kind of operations, it requires more battery power, and the battery is capable of generating a noticeable amount of heat to the touch. If it feels warm, it could mean that data is being communicated through the device.
Another thing to look at on your phone is your internet data usage. If you go through your allotted data much quicker than you expect, it could be that some outside agency is communicating through your phone. If a hacker is gathering information on you, your data usage will appear unusually high. Spy software on your phone can also send strange text messages with codes that you don’t recognize.
Most of the time, if you get spyware on your phone, it’s from websites that serve you ads or gather marketing data based on your activities. One important step to protect your privacy and conserve your data usage is to check your phone’s list of installed apps and uninstall anything that you don’t recognize. It’s even easier to clean spyware from your phone if you install a utility that does it automatically.
Another step you can take to protect your privacy is to pay attention to the permissions that apps ask for when you’re installing them. Apps will inform you if they need access to your camera or microphone. Consider if the purpose of the app is related to these parts of your phone, and abort installation if the requirements don’t make sense.
Another feature that could help hackers monitor you is your phone’s location tracking. It’s a simple procedure to switch this feature off on your phone when you’re not using an app that requires it to function. A final step, if you’re particularly concerned, is to cover the camera lenses with black tape and plug the microphone jack. Sometimes the “old-school” methods can be the most effective at protecting you from high-tech hackers.