I-Spy: Change your computer’s settings to stop programs spying on you

I-Spy: Change your computer’s settings to stop programs spying on you

Your phone knows a lot. It tracks your movements, browsing habits, downloads, etc. Click here to find out how to tell if your phone’s microphone or camera is being used .

You should also be concerned about smart TVs, voice assistants, social media apps and smart TVs listening to and recording your speech. Tap to stop it .

Phone applications ask for permission to access your camera and microphone, as well as your location. These permissions can be granted or restricted by going into the settings of your phone. You can do the exact same thing for your Mac or PC. Here’s how.

close up of hands of business person working on computer, man using internet and social media

Close up of business person using computer and man using social media.
(iStock)

How to change app permissions on Windows

Windows has a Privacy page where you can fiddle with your app permissions. It takes only a few clicks.

Change app permissions on Windows 11

  • Go to Start> Settings> Privacy & security.
  • Under App permissions, select an option (for example, Location). Then choose which apps can access it.
  • You can also use the Recent activity dropdown menu for each permission to show which apps are accessing them.

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Change app permissions on Windows 10

  • Go to Start> Settings> Privacy.
  • Under App permissions, select an option (for example, Microphone). Next, select which apps can access it.

There are many permissions on the list, including access to your calendar, files and folders, email, music library, notifications, and webcam. Consider whether an app really needs the default access level requested by it.

See a complete list of app permissions and what they allow access to here.

RELATED: If you have this popular file program on your Mac, delete it now.

Typing on laptop closeup, chatting in Facebook, meeting website. Blogger, journalist writing new article.

Typing closeup on laptop, chatting on Facebook, meeting website. Blogger, journalist writing a new article.
(iStock)

How to change app permissions on macOS

You receive an alert when a third-party app tries to access and control your Mac through accessibility features. You must specifically grant the app access to your Mac in Privacy & Security settings. You can change permissions at any moment by going into your settings. Here’s how:

  • Open the Apple menu and choose System Settings> Privacy & Security.
  • A list of program permissions will appear on the screen, such as Location Services, showing which applications have access to which permissions.
  • Click on any permission to see the apps that have access to it. To turn off permissions for an app, use the toggle switch.

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Keep your tech-know going

My popular podcast is called “Kim Komando Today.” It’s a solid 30 minutes of tech news, tips, and callers with tech questions like you from all over the country. It can be found wherever you get your podcasts. Click the link below to view a recent episode.

PODCAST PICK: Scary IRS scam, Alexa storytelling, 5 AirTag tricks

Phone apps ask permission to access your camera, mic, and location before tracking you.

Before tracking you, phone apps will ask for permission to access your location, microphone, and camera.
(iStock)

Are you dealing with Christmas stress? The government is here for you. Google also launches a new way to stuff websites full of ads. Netflix expands its video games collection. Animate your own stories using Alexa, the IRS scam, and five smart ways you can use Bluetooth trackers.

Check out my podcast “Kim Komando Today” on Apple, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or your favorite podcast player.

Listen to the podcast here or wherever you get your podcasts. Search for “Komando” and you will find my last name. “

Get more tech know-how on The Kim Komando Show, broadcast on 425 radio stations and available as a podcast. Sign up for Kim’s 5-minute free morning roundup for the latest security breaches and tech news. Need help? Drop your question for Kim here.

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