How to Know When Your IPhone Can Record You

You probably had a (legitimate) fear that your smartphone was listening or watching you. Your iPhone is certainly not free from privacy risks and you should definitely check your settings and all permissions for your apps, but one useful feature Apple has built in is a visual alert when your device is queuing up to record you.

The status bar in the upper right corner of the iPhone screen has two indicator lights that tell you when one or both of your recording functions are in use. When your device’s microphone is active, a yellow or orange dot appears. You will see a green dot when accessing your camera (or camera with microphone).

You usually see these lights when using social media apps that allow you to record and post videos – like Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok – but other apps that have requested access to your phone’s camera will trigger dots as well.

How to turn off camera and microphone access for your apps

If you don’t want certain apps to access your camera or microphone, you can turn them off in iPhone settings. Obviously, this will restrict certain functionality in these applications.

Open Settings and tap Privacy> Microphone . This will give you a list of all applications that have requested access to your microphone. Disable whatever you want to disable.

To turn off camera access, go to Settings> Privacy> Camera and disable any apps you don’t need.

You can also adjust other privacy settings for the app, such as location services and access to your photo library, at the same time if you go to Settings, scroll down to the list of installed apps and tap the one you want to edit.

Please note that some Apple apps, such as Voice Memos (and of course the camera), can also activate your microphone or camera and the corresponding indicator, but are not shown in the privacy settings. Therefore, if you have disabled all of the listed applications from recording functions, but you still see an orange or green dot, this may not only be due to someone spying on you, but also for another reason.


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