How to Prevent Apps From Accessing Your Camera and Microphone in Mojave
If you’ve ever had that eerie moment where you chatted about needing a new pair of shoes, and after a few minutes see a shoe ad in the middle of your social media feed, you’ve probably wondered how listening our devices are. , but we are not aware. Whether or not it happened to you, privacy and security are a concern for all of us, and it’s important to know what our devices are up to.
Luckily, macOS Mojave adds some handy settings that give you more granular control over app permissions, specifically apps that can access your Mac’s camera and microphone. Here’s how to find and edit what your apps can and can’t do.
Check current app permissions
While Mojave will now prompt you with a message when an app asks for camera or microphone permissions – along with requests to access your location, contacts, photos, or calendar features – any previously installed apps may already have some of these permissions. To check which apps are allowed what to do, go to the Security & Privacy section in the System Preferences drop-down menu. Then open the Privacy tab where you will find a list of the different features and services that the apps you installed can access.
The list includes the aforementioned geolocation, contacts, calendar, reminders, and photos features, and Mojave adds new camera and microphone locations at the bottom of the list. Clicking on an item in the list displays which applications have previously been granted this permission.
To specify which applications can use your Mac’s microphone or webcam, click Camera or Microphone. There will be a checkbox next to each app in the list – checking this checkbox gives the app permission to access this feature, and unchecking the checkbox blocks it.
Once you’ve checked and changed the app’s permissions and found whatever you like, it’s now clear. It’s good to know that curious apps will now slip away from your business, but keep in mind that some apps will need certain permissions to work properly. For example, if you disabled microphone and camera permissions for a video chat program, it will not work as expected, and some applications may not open or install at all. Fortunately, you can easily change your permissions.
There is a lock icon at the bottom of every permission list under the Privacy tab, and while it’s probably self-explanatory what this little guy is doing to change some permissions, like which apps can access location services, you need to: make sure to the icon is set to “unlock”. Leaving it unlocked also makes it easier to change permissions on the fly, while locking it will keep your settings as-is and prevent any changes from being made while it is locked.