ANDROID users are advised not to ignore certain symbols they see on their devices.
Last December, Android released a host of privacy and security features along with its new operating system: OS 12.
One of the standout features includes a way to know when an app is accessing your device’s camera or microphone.
In fact, this tool works even if the application only accesses these functions in the background.
How it works?
Android 12 notifies you when an app is using your device’s camera or microphone by placing an indicator in the top right corner of the screen.
The indicator appears as a camera or microphone icon that lets you know what kind of access the app is trying to get.
After about a second, the icon quickly turns into a little green dot – to really grab your attention.
How to use this tool
Android hopes this new tool will stop apps from eavesdropping – or even peering through your camera.
Users can find out what they are accessing and which app is accessing by swiping down.
Once you’ve done that, the dot will return to that full icon, which you can then tap to see more information.
How to find out more
You can see a continuous log of which apps have access to your camera, microphone or location – and when.
This information is available in the new privacy dashboard in Settings.
How to protect yourself
It is possible to disable your microphone and camera entirely on the whole phone in your quick settings.
However, it should be remembered that seeing an icon does not mean that something malicious is happening.
Sometimes an app really 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 are being spied on.
Cyber experts have discovered many apps that accessed the camera inappropriately on Android phones.
So make sure you are running Android 12 and stay alert for any foul play.
If you think something is going on, you need to check app permissions in settings.