HomeTechnologyI-Spy: Change your computer settings to prevent programs from spying on you

I-Spy: Change your computer settings to prevent programs from spying on you


Your phone knows a lot about you. It tracks your movement, browsing habits, downloads and more. Go here for a trick to know when your phone’s camera or microphone is being used.

You also have to worry about social media apps, voice assistants, and smart TVs listening and recording what you have to say. Tap or click the steps to stop it.

Phone apps ask for permission to access your camera, microphone, and location. You can access your phone settings to grant or restrict these permissions. Did you know that you can do the same with your PC or Mac? That is how.

close-up of the hands of a business person working on a computer, a man using the Internet and social networks
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How to Change App Permissions in Windows

Windows has a privacy page where you can play around with your app permissions. It only takes a few clicks.

Change app permissions in Windows 11

  • To go Start > Settings > Privacy and security.
  • Under App permissionsselect 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 in Windows 10

  • To go Home > Settings > Privacy.
  • Under App permissionsselect an option (for example, Microphone). Then choose which apps can access it.

There are plenty of permissions on the list, including access to your calendar, files and folders, email, music library, notifications, and webcam. Consider whether an application really needs the level of access that it requests by default.

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

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

Typing on laptop close-up, chatting on Facebook, meeting website.  Blogger, journalist writing a new article.

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

How to change app permissions in macOS

Get an alert when a third-party app tries to access and control your Mac through accessibility features. You must specifically grant access to the application to your Mac in Privacy and security settings.

You can access your settings to change permissions at any time. That is how:

  • Open the apple menu and choose System Settings > Privacy and Security.
  • A list of program permissions will appear on the screen, such as location serviceswhich shows which apps have access to which permissions.
  • Click on any permission to see the apps that have access to it. Use the toggle switch to disable permissions for each app.

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Keep your tech savvy up and running

My popular podcast is called “kim komando today.” That’s a solid 30 minutes of tech news, tips, and tech callers like you from around the country. Look it up wherever you get your podcasts. For your convenience, click the link below to watch a recent episode.

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

Phone apps ask for permission to access your camera, microphone, and location before tracking you.
(iStock)

Are you dealing with Christmas stress? The government is here to help. Plus, Google launches another way to fill websites with ads, Netflix expands its video game collection, animates your own stories with Alexa, IRS scam, and five clever ways to use Bluetooth trackers.

Check out my “Kim Komando Today” podcast at Apple, Google Podcasts, Spotifyor your favorite podcast player.

Listen to the podcast here or wherever you get your podcasts. Just look up my last name, “Komando.”

Get more technical knowledge about The Kim Komando Showbroadcast on more than 425 radio stations and available as podcast. Sign up for Kim’s free 5 minute morning recap for the latest security breaches and technology news. Need help? Leave your question for Kim here.

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