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  • Writer's pictureTaher Tarraf

A "green dot" on a "Android" phone screen that should never be ignored.

If you happen to notice a green dot appearing at the top of your Android phone's screen, it could be an indication that someone might be monitoring your activities.

This green dot serves as a signal that an app is currently utilizing the sensors on your Android device, specifically the microphone or camera.

While innocent instances, such as using a voice recorder app or making a call, could trigger the appearance of these dots, they might also signify the presence of "spyware" apps if their presence is unexpected.

In a similar vein, "iPhone" devices sometimes exhibit a comparable warning symbol, as highlighted on the "Daily Mail" website.

Identifying which app is accessing your microphone has been made easier (thanks to the privacy indicator introduced in Android 12). Jimmy Akhtar, CEO and co-founder of CyberSmart, emphasized that most of the time, the green dot isn't concerning, but if suspicion arises, swift action is advised.

The green dot's presence typically suggests that an app is utilizing your device's microphone or camera, potentially due to third-party apps or core device functions like voice assistants. This occurrence might arise from permissions granted to access the camera or microphone even when idle. This can be reviewed in your device settings' Permissions section.

However, if this isn't the case, it might indicate unauthorized access through spyware. In such cases, Akhtar recommends performing a malware scan and changing important passwords, especially for sensitive accounts.

Identifying the app responsible for the green dot is straightforward:

- Swipe down from the top of your screen to reveal the green dot.

- A microphone or camera icon will indicate which sensor is active.

- Tapping the icon will unveil the app utilizing the sensor.

From this point, you can modify app permissions, including revoking access to the microphone or camera. However, be mindful that some apps require these permissions for functionality.

Google has also introduced a Privacy Dashboard feature in its Android update, providing insight into sensor access and private data usage by various apps. Access this by navigating to Settings > Security & privacy > Privacy Dashboard.

To adjust app permissions, select the specific permissions (e.g., location, microphone, calendar, call logs, contacts) and choose whether apps can access sensors at all times, only when in use, or not at all. #GreenDotAlert #AndroidPrivacy #SensorUsage #SpywareConcerns #PhoneSecurity #PrivacyIndicator #MobileSafety #AppPermissions #PrivacyDashboard #MalwareScan #DataProtection #CybersecurityTips #DigitalSafety #PhoneSensorAccess #PrivacyAwareness

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