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This week there was a publication by Mashable on the subject of “phone spying” that was, to say the least, disturbing. And apparently, it does not matter whether it is an iOS or Android, or any particular maker. Further, when you must have an add-on of your various app providers, the apps themselves, your credit card accounts and the vendors you use, and any convenience products you have will add a level of spying opportunity. The list of possible attackers is long and exhausting. They are all individually and collectively working to see your activity, correlate your interests with their product partners, and gain information on you and your relationships. Check it out.


Feel like your phone’s spying on you? You’re not alone


After the Cambridge Analytica scandal, there’s no question that our personal data is being collected. Exactly how tech companies gather information about our personal lives remains unclear. Can our devices be controlled? Are microphones and cameras being turned on? Though a definitive answer is hard to explain; Tega Brain and Sam Lavigne teamed up to create the  The New Organs— an online project showing what it’s like to live under digital surveillance.



We love our access right! We love our ability to get things, to find and seemingly know things. My wife regularly amazes me with her ability to Google and find stuff. We all like the global connectivity that comes with today’s technological age. And yes, more and better to come.

Better said, we need these things!


Well, what you see in the highly interesting Mashable post article and video is that there are inherent dangers in our use of these connectivity services. Is the term “dangers” too extreme? That is going to be up to you.

Our phones and connected devices are designed to listen and remember. Our apps are intended to enable quick and specific access to valued products and services. And we now know that they do that based on what we say, what we type, what we order, what we sign up for or join, what we buy, and what it may pick up in the environment that we have our device in.

Our Social Media providers offer services to us that intend to get us “out there” and linked to the broad and global world, even the “Universe!”

That is great, but please take note…and this has been said thousands of times by the investigative media, many bloggers, advisors, lawyers, conspiracy nuts and your parents!



You have available to you many apps and software applications that are advertised to protect your privacy and security. Password protectors are supposed to protect your data. And security protocols by service providers are advertised to secure and protect your online and cellular activity…so they say!

You ask, what is a modern day tech savvy and connected person to do? It’s a good question, right! Here is the big secret…wait for it!

elevator music playing in the background

I have no idea!

It is clear that there are tools to use that intend to serve and protect your cyber usage. But if the device itself requires a level of listening and memory to provide service, then what are you to do to manage that? Alexa cannot respond to you if it is not powered on. If it is powered on, it is listening for the keyword…Hey Alexa...or whatever you assign it.

Your cell phone has a mic…you know that, it is how you speak to people with that phone. Applications often ask for permission to access your mic. Sometimes you agree and sometimes you do not.

Your Social Media providers often use your camera and mic to support their service offerings. You give them permission, or you do not.

When your phones are powered off they may be actually off. But what if they are not! What if they are accessible even when you believe they are powered off. Back in the day, as I often say for my days traveling overseas, we use to remove the cell batteries from our phones. We did this in the hopes of completely dropping off the cellular grid. Actually, we also did not bring our personal phones or computers, on our overseas trips. We also did not want a rogue code in some evil app on the device from activating and playing nefarious games in the background of our lives, in other words, spying on us! Further, we typically used so-called burner phones and “clean” computers, that did not have a history with us.

So, the best advice I can give you is to check yourself. Check the applications you purchase and download. Know what they do and how they do it. Consider the implications for your life. Check the service providers and social media services you use. They all are supposed to inform you of how they operate and what they do, to include those thing listed in the Mashable post and this blog post, that are threats to your privacy and security.

Yes, you are going to make some risk ques