A Google-developed function on Android phones warns users if they are being spied on.

Google launched the Android 12 mobile operating system last year, which featured several privacy updates. The updates help notify Android device users when an app is using their camera or microphone by lighting up a tiny dot in the top right corner. These dots, called Privacy Indicators, aim to alert users when apps are using their phone's hardware like the camera or microphone without their knowledge.

The main purpose of this feature is to safeguard you from devious apps and hackers that could potentially record you without your consent. This feature also allows Android users to view which apps have accessed their private data, including camera, microphone, location, calendar, call logs, contacts, and files.

To access this information, go to the privacy dashboard in the Settings app. There, you'll see a list of apps as well as a pie chart indicating which type of personal data is most requested.

Why are the tiny green dots important?

The tiny green dots on Android smartphones are important because they tell users if they are being monitored. This is especially important for users who are concerned about their privacy, as it allows them to take steps to avoid being spied on.

The new Privacy Dashboard in Settings gives users more control over which apps have access to their camera, microphone, or location. You can also completely disable your microphone and camera if you wish.

However, it's important to remember that just because you see an icon doesn't necessarily mean something is wrong. If you detect an unusual app using your camera, it could indicate that you're being watched though, so be sure to keep an eye out for anything suspicious.

Interestingly, Apple introduced a similar feature in 2020 that notifies users if they are being monitored. The feature, called the orange dot, appears on the right-hand side of the screen as a recording indicator.

How to avoid becoming a victim?

Android devices are becoming popular, which unfortunately means they are also becoming increasingly attractive to hackers and malicious app developers. However, there are a few steps you can take to protect your Android phone from such threats.

1. Download apps from trusted sources

Only download apps from trusted sources, such as the Google Play Store. Downloading apps from unofficial sources puts you at a greater risk of downloading a malicious app.

The Play Store may have some malicious apps available for download, but the likelihood of downloading one from there is lower than from an unofficial source.

2. Keep your Android phone and apps up to date

It's important to ensure that you have the latest security patches and updates installed on your device, as hackers are constantly finding new ways to exploit vulnerabilities.

3. Install a security app on your Android device

Security apps can help protect your device from a range of threats, so it's worth considering installing one on your Android device.

Android Phone