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How to stop your Android phone from listening to you secretly?

Here’s how you can make sure your smartphone isn't listening to you at all times.

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A few years back, if you were worried about your smartphone spying on you, you’d be labelled a conspiracy nut. Now, with services like Google’s Voice Assistant and Amazon Echo, surveillance has taken the form of convenience and has made its way into our pockets. The Google Assistant on your smartphone is always monitoring surrounding sounds for the ‘Hey Google’ or ‘OK Google’ keywords. While voice commands are certainly very helpful, especially while driving, for a lot of people it is not worth giving up their privacy. In this article, we show you how to stop your Android phone from listening to you secretly. 

Read Also: In India, NortonLifeLock releases Norton AntiTrack for more privacy against online tracking

Turn off Google Assistant

Step 1: Go to Settings and select Google.

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Step 1: Go to Settings and select Google.

Step 2: Scroll down and tap on ‘Settings for Google apps’ and select ‘Search, Assistant, and Voice’.

Step 2: Scroll down and tap on ‘Settings for Google apps’ and select ‘Search, Assistant, and Voice’.

Step 3: Tap on ‘Voice’ and from the following window select ‘Voice Match’.

Step 3: Tap on ‘Voice’ and from the following window select ‘Voice Match’.

Step 4: Turn the toggle bar for ‘Hey Google’ off.

Step 4: Turn the toggle bar for ‘Hey Google’ off.

The voice assistant commands on your phone will be turned off. Your smartphone will not use the microphone at all times to scan for those keywords.

Turn off Google Assistant for Android Auto

The Google Voice Assistant for Android Auto is turned on by default. You will have to turn it off separately, even after disabling the Google Assistant on your smartphone. Here’s how you can do that.

Step 1: Go to Settings and select Advanced Features.

Step 1: Go to Settings and select Advanced Features.

Step 2: Select Android Auto.

Step 2: Select Android Auto.

Step 3: Tap on ‘Hey Google’ detection and turn the toggle bar off for ‘While driving’.

Step 3: Tap on ‘Hey Google’ detection and turn the toggle bar off for ‘While driving’.

Turn off Microphone access for Google

If you want to go the extra mile, you can entirely turn off the microphone access for the Google app on your smartphone. Here’s how.

Step 1: Go to Settings and select Apps.

Step 1: Go to Settings and select Apps.

Step 2: Scroll down and select ‘Google’.

Step 1: Go to Settings and select Apps.

Step 3: Tap on ‘Permissions’.

Step 1: Go to Settings and select Apps.

Step 4: Under the ‘Allowed’ section, tap on ‘Microphone’ and select ‘Don’t Allow’.

Step 4: Under the ‘Allowed’ section, tap on ‘Microphone’ and select ‘Don't Allow’.

Google will not be able to access your smartphone’s microphone.

Bonus Tip

Turn off Google Assistant entirely

If you don’t use Google Assistant that often, you can turn it off entirely. Here’s how.

Step 1: Go to Settings and select Google.

Step 1: Go to Settings and select Google. how to stop your phone from listening to you

Step 2: Scroll down and tap on ‘Settings for Google apps’ and select ‘Search, Assistant, and Voice’.

Step 2: Scroll down and tap on ‘Settings for Google apps’ and select ‘Search, Assistant, and Voice’. how to stop your phone from listening to you

Step 3: Tap on ‘Google Assistant’, scroll down and select ‘General’.

how to stop your phone from listening to you

Step 4: Turn the toggle bar off for Google Assistant in order to disable it.

Step 4: Turn the toggle bar off for Google Assistant in order to disable it. how to stop your phone from listening to you

If you do not wish to turn off Google Assistant, you can simply change the preferred input from voice to keyboard.

Read Also: Google Pixel 7 Vs iPhone 14: Battle between Android Vs iOS

Conclusion

This is how you can stop your Android phone from listening to you secretly. You can also access your previous voice search history by going to the Google My Activity page. Google maintains a record of your search history, and this includes voice commands as well. In the My Activity page go to Assistant>Voice and Audio to hear all your past recordings. 

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