Billions of iPhone and Android users warned to look for three ‘danger dots’

APPLE and Google have fitted their smartphone software with warnings signs you shouldn’t ignore.

They can reveal when you’re being spied on by rogue apps.


A green dot signifies that your camera is active – but if it’s orange, your microphone is in useCredit: Apple
Look out for these symbols on your iPhone


Look out for these symbols on your iPhoneCredit: Apple

From time to time, you’ll need to allow apps to access sensitive parts of your phone.

Three of the most private features include your microphone, camera, and location.

Most of the time this is useful: think voice notes on WhatsApp, snapping photos on Instagram, or hailing a taxi with Uber.

But some apps may be using this info for nefarious purposes.

It’s possible that you may have installed a dangerous app that is taking advantage of your permissions.

Thankfully your iPhone and Android both have mechanisms to deny app permissions at any time.

But they also both offer warning signs that alert you when your microphone, camera or location is being accessed by an app.

That way you can instantly see whether the access is justified or not – and whether you need to take action.

Learning the signs to look out for is essential to staying safe online…

iPhone warning dots

You need to keep an eye on the status bar at the top of your phone.

If a small orange dot appears, it means that your microphone is currently in use.

And if the dot is green, that means your camera has been activated by an app.

By swiping into your Apple Control Center, you can see details about which app is using your microphone.

For your location, you need to look out for a totally different icon.

It shows up as a small arrow on your status bar at the top of the phone, will either be clear or blue.

Grey means an app or website is using Location Services.

And blue means the app you’re currently using is requesting your location.

Android warning icons

Android has its own similar warnings.

For Android phones, you’ll want to look for a small green pill icon in the top right.

You’ll see it appear with a small camera or microphone icon inside it.

Both can appear at inside the pill icon at the same time.

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These signals alert you when an app is accessing your camera or microphone.

If your location is in use, you should see a small pin icon on the status bar near your battery.

Google is now alerting users when the camera and/or microphone is activated


Google is now alerting users when the camera and/or microphone is activatedCredit: Google / Android

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