TECH

Is Your Technology Spying On You? Some Tips On How You Can Tell

December 27, 2019

Let's creep you out a little bit. So you're typing away on your phone, but someone (or maybe even a bot) somewhere is watching your every digital move. Or perhaps, they may actually be watching you. That's pretty scary, right?

In fact, it sounds impossible, like something a conspiracy nut would make up. But as it turns out, it really does happen.

The impact of modern technology

Modern technology has changed every aspect of our being. It's not just about how we communicate but also how we work, educate ourselves, think and even how we do our jobs.

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Based on a report by Jfg-nc, only 15% of homes have a personal computer in 1989. But by 2011, that number went up to 75%. And chances are, it will keep increasing.

With such options as mobile phones, computers, tablets, smartphones and so on, the possibilities are endless.

An obsession with technology

For some people, their devices have gone from being a necessity to becoming an extension of who they are.

Statistics show that in 2017, the average person spent up to 135 minutes a day on social media. And the number is believed to have increased since then.

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Social networking has become an important part of people's lives and it's expected to be even more so as the years go by.

Why is your technology spying on you?

Unfortunately, this popularity of technology and internet options means that it can be taken advantage of.

You may be curious to know why anyone would want to spy on you. The thing is, there are so many manufacturers vying for the public's attention. So sometimes, they use the data and information provided by your private life and online usage to know how better to target their products to more people.

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Simply put, manufacturers want to know what you need so they can know what to sell. And since they can't go knocking on every door, they have the option to spy on your online habits.

Signs your technology is spying on you

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There are a few different ways to know if you're being spied on.

  • Your phone is unusually warm: According to Backgroundcheck, if you notice your phone gets warm even when you're not using it, it's a red flag. This could mean that data is being sent back and forth from your device without you realizing it.
  • Battery drains easily: If your phone battery drains quickly or you notice an abnormally high data usage, it's also a sign you're being spied on. Hackers often try to collect information from your phone and this can lead to a surge in data usage.
  • Disturbingly specific adverts: Many people online have reported opening their device only to see an advertisement based on something they talked about, even when they never searched for that topic online. This raised the possibility that when apps ask you to give them access to your microphones, it could be their way of listening in on what to say in addition to your online activity.

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How to keep your devices from spying on you

There are many ways through which technology keeps tabs on you. Things like your Smart TV, FitBit, child monitor or even toys can pass along information based on things you say when you're around them.

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To protect yourself, consider these tips.

  1. Turn location when it's not needed
  2. ABC warns against opening suspicious emails or clicking random links.
  3. TIME magazine suggests that you should create really strong passwords and change them regularly.
  4. Place a tape or bandaid over your laptop camera when it's not in use.
  5. Turn off TV and phone tracking features.
  6. Don't allow untrusted apps to gain access to your microphones, locations, etc.

It can be uncomfortable to know that information about you is being passed across without your permission. But you can also protect yourself wherever possible. And the general rule applies that you don't give out or discuss sensitive information if you think you may be being spied on. In cases like this, it's better to be paranoid than have regrets. Stay safe on the 'net, guys.

Technology