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Unless you alter these settings, Apple, Google, Amazon, and Facebook are always listening.

I accomplish a lot using my voice. My phone is muted, Siri makes appointments for me, and much more. For five quick voice commands you’ll use frequently, tap or click.

You can lock the front door, find your phone, and visit family by using an Amazon Echo. For the items I frequently ask Alexa for help with, tap or click.

What are the drawbacks of always-on, command-listening devices? Microphones are used in almost all voice-activated technologies, and they listen for “wake words.” That implies that they are in theory always listening.

The following information will show you how to disable your smart devices from Listening.

Facebook spoofing

Facebook occasionally asks for access to the microphone for text-to-speech and video chat functions. You might not feel confident allowing Facebook access to your microphone. You can use these instructions to prevent any app from accessing your microphone.

The procedures described in this article may not apply to your specific model because there are numerous Android manufacturers. If so, consult the online handbook for your model.

Apple iPhone:

Open the Settings application. Then, select Facebook by scrolling down.

• Set the green switch adjacent to the microphone to “off.”

You could also do these actions:

Open the Settings application. Then, select Privacy & Security by scrolling down.

• Look for and select the “Microphone” menu item.

• Select Facebook from the list of apps and turn the green switch off.

Google Android

• Select Apps from the Settings menu.

• Select the desired app, in this case Facebook, by tapping it.

Select Permissions. To modify a permission setting, tap it and then select one of the following: Only allow when using the app, always ask, or never permit.

Return to these settings and turn on your microphone if you decide to record a video or talk with a friend. If you want to turn it off again after you’re done, you may.

Putting voice helpers to sleep

It’s well known that if you say something that sounds like the wake word, virtual assistants can overhear fragments of private conversations. One study included 1,000 words and phrases that confused Google, Alexa, Siri, and Cortana.

Here are the steps to switch off your device’s always-on microphone if you’re concerned about it Just be aware that anonymity comes at the cost of some convenience.

Find the button that resembles a microphone or a circle with a line through it on your Amazon Echo device.

• Press the switch. This prevents the device from supplying power to the mic’s internal components.

• Simply click the button once more to activate Alexa. For private conversations or when it’s not needed, you can always turn the microphone off.


Open the Settings app on your iPhone using Siri. Tap Siri & Search after scrolling down.

• Turn the green switch next to “Listen for “Hey Siri”” off.”

• To stop Siri from activating whenever a button is pressed in your pocket, you may also disable Allow Siri When Locked.

On Android, Google Assistant:

• Select Apps from the Settings menu on your smartphone.

• Tap Assistant under General, then select See All Assistant Settings.

• From this point, you can switch “Hey Google” off.

Cortana in Windows 10: Select Settings from the Start Menu.

• Select Voice Activation under Privacy.

• Find and select Microphone on the left-hand panel.

• Locate Cortana and turn off the Microphone permission by scrolling down.

Cortana on Windows 11 • Select Settings from the Start Menu menu.

• Select Voice Activation under Privacy & Security.

• Turn off Cortana under Let apps access voice activation services.

On iOS:

Open the Settings application. Tap Privacy & Security as you scroll down.

• Look for and select the “Microphone” menu item.

• Select Google Assistant from the list of apps, then turn the green switch off.

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