Your Phone Is Probably Spying On You, Just Not How You Think

Do you ever feel like your smartphone is listening to you? While it might seem that way, it's probably not what's really happening. Researchers have done extensive studies, but have yet to find any evidence that phones and the apps on them are actually recording or listening to your conversations. So what's going on? Your phone has much more efficient ways to figure out what you’re talking about and what you’re interested in, without recording a conversation. Apps on phones take screenshots and use the GPS function to track where you’re going. They even collect video of what you’re doing on your phone. All of this can be used to create targeted ads. So, how do you explain having a conversation about shoes and then seeing an ad for shoes on your phone? Chances are, you probably did a Google search for those shoes, or maybe you mapped out directions to a shoe store. The amount of data companies collect about us is staggering. One way to limit the access they have is to avoid using the universal sign-on features offered by Google and Facebook. Also, monitor the permissions you give each app on your phone. For example, if an app doesn’t need to know your location, consider taking away its access to that information.