Urgent Google warning for millions of Android users: These symbols mean someone is watching
Google is warning millions of Android users when apps might be spying on them.
The new feature alerts users when the microphone or camera has been activated.
It’s very similar to a warning that already exists on Apple’s rival iPhone.
The Google feature was added to phones in the latest Android 12 update. So if you don’t have that, you won’t be able to see it.
The new indicator appears in the top right corner of the screen.
You’ll see a camera or microphone icon when an app attempts to access either.
It prevents apps from surreptitiously listening in — or even watching through your camera.
You can also see a rolling log of which apps have access your camera, microphone or location — and when.
That information is available in the new Privacy Dashboard inside Settings.
It’s also now possible to entirely deactivate your microphone and camera across the entire phone in your Quick Settings.
It’s worth remembering that seeing an icon doesn’t mean anything nefarious is going on.
Sometimes an app genuinely needs to use your camera — like Instagram.
But if you notice that your camera is being used by a strange app, it could mean you’re being spied on.
Cyber experts have uncovered countless apps that have inappropriate access to the camera on Android phones.
So make sure you’re using Android 12, and that you stay wary of any foul play.
If you suspect something is up, you should check the app’s permissions in Settings.
You can deny specific apps access to your microphone or camera, for instance.
And if you’re really worried, you could just delete the app altogether.