Have you noticed a small colored light point appearing in the upper right corner of your smartphone screen? Beware; an app may attempt to spy on you by utilizing your phone’s camera or microphone without your knowledge!
When using your smartphone, whether it’s an Android or iPhone, a small, bright green dot may occasionally appear in the upper right corner of the screen. It’s not there to signal that the smartphone is on or that its battery is sufficiently charged. No, it indicates something completely different and allows you to ensure everything is running smoothly on your mobile with just a glance. This pinhead-sized light point acts as an indicator, signaling the activity of the microphone or camera—two “sensitive” components of the smartphone. This is a security measure implemented by both Google in Android, since version 12 of the system, and Apple in iOS, since iOS 14. When you launch the camera app, a small white camera icon on a green background appears at the top right of the screen. It then transforms into a simple green dot not to interfere with readability on the screen.
This green dot also appears whenever the smartphone’s microphone is in action. On the iPhone, the point takes on an orange color in this case. Its purpose is to inform you that the camera is in use or the microphone is active.
There’s nothing to worry about if you’re the one behind this action, such as launching the camera app or a dictaphone app on the mobile. However, be cautious if you don’t recall opening an application that should use either of these devices. A malicious application may have taken control to monitor you without your knowledge. It’s worth noting that on certain models, the green (or orange) dot remains lit on the screen even when the smartphone is locked if an app continues to use the camera or microphone. This is useful to check if someone is not spying on you. Simply wake up the device to turn on its screen and check for the presence of a colored dot in the upper right corner.
How can you identify which app is using the camera or microphone?
The green or orange dot at the top right of the screen indicates that the device’s camera or microphone is in use by an app. Both Android and iOS provide more information than this simple signal. On Android, pull down the notifications panel, then tap the green icon. The active device and the name of the app using it are displayed. Tap on this name to see the app profile.
On iOS, the process is similar. Swipe down from the upper right edge of the screen to display the iOS Control Center. The list of currently active devices is shown at the top of the screen.
Tap the device name to see the list of apps that use them.
The presence of this light point on the smartphone screen ensures a level of privacy. It activates whenever the microphone or camera is active. While malicious apps can access these devices, they cannot modify the behavior of this light point, which is specific to the system and particularly secure. Reassuring!