Android fans that want to clampdown on privacy issues can download a free app from the Google Play Store which lets them know when an app is listening in on you. Over the years a number of Android apps have been found to switch on a mic when a user least expects it. Back in 2018 research emerged claiming some 250 Google Play Store apps were guilty of this practise.
Google has taken steps to rectify privacy concerns, such as better permissions and features within the OS designed to clamp down on covert use of a mic or camera.
But if you want to go that extra mile then you can download a free app for Android which lets you know when an app is spying on you.
As reported in a post by The Next Web, Access Dots is a programme that can be downloaded from the Google Play Store.
And it is specifically designed for those worried about what third-party apps they have installed on their Android device may be doing in the background.
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Access Dots uses a simple notification system to let you know when an Android app could be listening in.
A green dot shows on your screen when the camera has been accessed by an app, while an orange dot shows when the microphone has been engaged.
It brings to Android the same security feature that Apple has already announced will be included in iOS 14.
This functionality will be added to iPhones on the iOS 14 release date, which is expected to be in September.
Thanks to Access Dots Android fans can take advantage of a similar feature early, and according to The Next Web testing the app does what it says on the tin.
TNW said: “I’m happy to report the app works as advertised. I haven’t yet found any wayward eavesdroppers, thankfully — but I’m glad I now have a way to catch them in the act.
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“I’d have liked for Access Dots to also name the app that’s using your camera or mic, but that functionality isn’t yet available.”
If you want to download Access Dots then click here to be taken to the app’s official Play Store listing.
Here’s what the devs have said about the programme: “Did you know that once you grant access to your phone’s camera or microphone to any third-party App, they can use it silently in the background?
“And do you feel envious about the new iOS 14’s privacy feature – shows an indicator whenever camera or microphone is accessed?
“Presenting Access Dots for Android, supporting all the way down to Android 7.0!
“Access Dots, adds the same iOS 14 style indicators (few pixels light up as a dot) to the top right (default) corner of your screen whenever any third-party App uses your phone’s camera or microphone. Access Dots will be visible even on your lockscreen!”