A while back I wrote a post explaining how hackers are using rogue apps and other forms of malware to spy on folks via their computers’ webcams.
That post also explains how to prevent it from happening.
As it turns out, some miscreants have been spying on us via our machines’ microphones as well. And in some ways that’s just as bad as having them spy on us via webcam.
Recognizing the threat, Microsoft has added a new setting to recent builds of Window 10 to prevent rogue apps (and Windows itself) from stealthily eavesdropping on you by listening in on your conversations.
If you’re concerned about your private conversations potentially being leaked to the world, you can now prevent Windows and any apps that are installed on your PC from accessing the microphone at all. Just follow the steps below:
1 – Click the Start button.
2 – Click the Settings icon (it looks like a “gear” or “cog”).
3 – Under “Privacy”, click Microphone.
4 – Click the Change button that’s located under “Microphone access to this device is on”, then toggle the setting to Off.
That’s all there is to it. From now on Windows won’t be allowed to access your PC’s microphone, and neither will any malware or apps.
On the occasions when you do need to use your microphone you can temporarily re-enable it by repeating the steps above and toggling the option back to On.
Bonus tip #1: One easy way to ensure that no rogue apps are installed on your PC is to keep it free of malware. This post explains how.
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