Be careful when you see that little bright spot in the corner of your smartphone screen – CCM

A small colored dot of light appears in the upper right corner of your smartphone screen? Be careful, an app may try to spy on you by using your phone’s camera or microphone without your knowledge!

When you use your smartphone, whether Android or iPhone, sometimes a small light green dot appears in the top right corner of the screen. It is not intended to signal that the smartphone is turned on or that the battery is sufficiently charged, no. It actually testifies to something completely different and allows you to make sure that everything is running smoothly on your mobile with just a glance. This small point of light the size of a pinhead serves as an indicator: it is intended to show the activity of the microphone or camera, two “sensitive” components of the smartphone. This is a security measure taken by both Google in Android since version 12 of the system and by Apple in iOS since iOS 14. In fact, when you launch the Camera app, a small camera icon in white on a green background is displayed at the top right of the screen. It then turns into a simple green dot so as not to affect readability on the screen.

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This green dot also appears as soon as the smartphone’s microphone is in action. In the latter case, on the iPhone the dot takes on an orange color. So the purpose is to inform you that the camera is in use or the microphone is active.

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No need to worry if you are behind this action yourself after starting the camera app or, for example, the voice recorder app on your cell phone. On the other hand, be careful if you don’t remember opening an application that was supposed to use one of these devices. A malicious application may have taken control of it to monitor you without your knowledge. Note that on certain models, the green (or orange) dot remains on the screen even when the smartphone is locked and an app continues to use the camera or microphone. A good way to find out if someone is spying on you. Just wake up the device to turn on the screen and check if there is a colored dot in the top right corner.

How do I know which app is using the camera or microphone?

The green or orange dot in the top right of the screen indicates that an app is using the device’s camera or microphone. But both Android and iOS go a little further than this simple signal. They allow you to identify which app is using one and/or the other of these devices. On Android, open the notification panel and then tap the green icon. The active device and the name of the app using it are displayed. Just tap on that name to view the app profile.

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The operation is roughly similar on iOS. Swipe down from the top right of the screen to display the iOS Control Center. The list of currently active devices is displayed at the top of the screen.

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Tap the device name to view the list of apps that use it.

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The presence of this point of light on the smartphone screen guarantees you a little privacy. It is activated as soon as the microphone or camera is active. Malicious apps can access these devices, but they cannot change the behavior of this system-specific and particularly secure light point. Calming!