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You should know what these orange and green dots at the top of your phone mean

These dots are part of the new enhanced privacy and security features you'll find on both iPhones and Androids.

by Kurt Knutsson

Recently, we receive a question from Teresa, one of our readers who asked,

What does the little orange dot in the right hand corner of my iPhone?

The orange …and green dots you see at the top of your screen are part of the iOS14 update for enhanced privacy and security.   Learn more about what these notification dots mean below not only for iPhones but Androids too!

 

What does it mean if you see the orange dot on the top of your iPhone?

orange dot at top of iphone
When an orange dot appears in the top-right corner of your screen — right above your cellular bars — this means that an app is using your iPhone’s microphone.

It could be any app  – such as your phone.

 

Which iPhone apps are using your microphone?

If you see the orange dot, you can swipe down from the top right of your screen to reveal which apps are using your microphone.  You’ll see the orange icon at the top of your screen with the device next to it.  In the case below, the app that is using the microphone is my Phone.

iphone screen showing which app is using my microphone

 

What does it mean if you see the green dot on the top of your iPhone?

green dot at top of iphone

When a green dot appears in the top-right corner of your screen — right above your cellular bars — this means that either the camera or the camera with the microphone is being used by an app on your iPhone.

 

Which iPhone apps are using your camera?

Like the orange dot, if you see the green dot, you can:

  • Swipe down from the top right of your screen to reveal which apps are using your microphone and/or camera.
  • You’ll see the green icon at the top of your screen with the device next to it.
  • In the case below, the app that is using the camera is Facetime.

iphone screen showing which app is using my camera

 

What does it mean if you see the green dot on the top of your Android device?

If you’ve got an Android 12, you’ll notice that there’s only a green dot indicator (no orange dot) indicator in the top right corner of your screen that will inform you when the phone’s camera or microphone is being used by an app.  When an app first accesses your camera or microphone, you’ll see a camera icon and a microphone icon before it changes to simply a green dot.  This dot will remain on for as long as the app uses your microphone or camera.

 

Which Android apps are using your microphone or camera?

To determine which apps are using your microphone or camera,

  • Swipe down from the top of your screen to show the app icon.  You will see which apps are recently being used by your camera or microphone.
  • Click that icon and it will share which app is using it.
  • Click the app and visit the app’s permission page to deny access to your camera or mic.

 

What if an app is using my microphone or video and I can’t find it to delete the app?

If you see an app using the microphone when you haven’t opened an app, you can always swipe down to reveal the app.  If you don’t recognize the app, you can either adjust that app’s settings or potentially delete the app altogether.

There is a chance that some malicious spyware may be using your device to spy.  If this is the case, be sure to always back up your phone to iCloud so you can reset your phone and reinstall your phone from a backup.

To avoid this altogether, you may consider adding antivirus software to your phone to ward off any malware.

 

Lock up your tech

My biggest desire is to educate and inform you about the increased real threat to each of our connected devices and encourage you to use strong antivirus security protection on everything in your life connected to the rest of the world. The best way to protect yourself is to install antivirus software on your devices. Our top choice for Antivirus software is TotalAV. It’s very easy to install and you’ll have peace of mind knowing you’ll have real-time protection, phishing scam protection, ransomware protection plus more. Protects Windows, Mac, Android & iOS Devices. Limited time deal for CyberGuy readers: $19 your first year (80% off).

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