How does my phone know my thoughts

How does my phone know my thoughts?

Isn’t it uncanny that your smartphone shows you just the right product at the time when you need such a product the most? If you think your device is reading your mind, it’s possible, given your input, but there are ways to limit such influence.  

Confused? Don’t be! In this post, we’ll give you a rundown on how your past actions allow your phone to know your thoughts and, most importantly, how you can stop it from predicting your mind so you better read up. 

Can my phone read my thoughts? 

A phone can’t read your thoughts, but it can determine what you might think based on your previous activities and the data it has recorded to draw a pattern. 

Advertisers use this data to show you ads relevant to your interests. In short, it’s making an educated guess. 

While a smartphone cannot infiltrate your thoughts, browsing data and preferences are telltale signs that allow computers in your device to arrive at a most sensible conclusion. 

How does my phone know what I am thinking? 

Phones don’t know what you’re thinking because there’s no such thing as wireless mind-reading technology. However, it would appear that way since advertisers track your activity and collect browsing data drawing a pattern to show you relevant ads.

It’s why you’re bombarded with product ads relevant to your recent internet searches. Thus, giving you an illusion that your phone knows what you’re thinking when it’s only using the information you provided to predict your interests.

Since they know your tendencies and preferences, they can accurately predict things that may interest you. Advertisers use this to sell you the products and services you might want based on the data collected from you.

How to Stop My Phone From Listening and Reading My Mind 

With that said, it’s possible to lessen your smartphone’s listening activity. Below are tips and tricks you can try and use to stop your phone, be it iPhone or Android, from eavesdropping and surreptitiously reading your mind. 

FIX 1. Reconfigure the privacy settings on Safari

Difficulty Very Easy ●○○○○
Number of Steps4
Time to Perform Fix20 seconds
Things Needed• An iPhone

The closed nature of the Apple ecosystem makes it more secure than its more open Android-powered competitor. However, even if you’re an iPhone user, there are some configurations on your device that you need to keep enabled for privacy.

After all, it’s not a good idea to let your guard down simply because Apple values privacy more than Google. Sometimes, a simple oversight can lead to far more significant consequences, so it’s always better to be safe now than sorry later.

The built-in privacy features you must enable on your iPhone can be found in the Safari settings menu. These privacy features should prevent cross-site tracking techniques many companies employ to track your activities and create your profile.

While no wireless mind-reading technology exists, allowing developers and advertisers to access your actions and preferences isn’t ideal. They can’t read your mind, but these metrics help them understand and predict your interests.

Step 1: Run the Settings app on your iPhone.

Step 1 Reconfigure the privacy settings on Safari

Step 2: Scroll down and open your iPhone’s Safari settings.

Step 2 Reconfigure the privacy settings on Safari

Step 3: Scroll down and click the switch for Prevent Cross-Site Tracking to enable it.

Step 3 Reconfigure the privacy settings on Safari

Step 4: Make sure to enable other privacy measures like the Fraudulent Website Warning.

Step 4 Reconfigure the privacy settings on Safari

Note: Depending on your iPhone’s iOS version, you’ll also have access to other privacy features such as Privacy Preserving Ad Measurement and Hide IP Address (From Trackers).

FIX 2. Manage your phone’s app permissions

Difficulty Very Easy ●○○○○
Number of Steps7
Time to Perform Fix40 seconds
Things Needed• Any smartphone

Most apps ask for access requirements and permissions to use certain features and built-in devices on your phone. For example, apps like Facebook may ask for permission to use your phone’s microphone or camera for some actions.

Sometimes, these permissions will be in line with what you’re trying to achieve in these apps, but it isn’t always the case. You see, you must be vigilant and careful about the permissions you give to the apps installed on your phone.

If something as simple as a calculator app asks to use your phone’s microphone or camera, it’s better to explore other options that require less access. As such, we suggest double-checking the permissions you have granted to your apps.

With this, you can see which apps are asking for absurd permissions that aren’t necessary for them to function. You can also manage what permissions you want to give your apps to control what information they can get from you.

Step 1: Run the Settings app on your iPhone.

Step 1 Manage your phone’s app permissions

Note: You can also manage the permission on your Android phone so be sure to check your device’s user manual to learn how it’s done.

Step 2: Scroll down and click your iPhone’s Privacy settings.

Step 2 Manage your phone’s app permissions

Step 3: Click Microphone.

Step 3 Manage your phone’s app permissions

Step 4: Toggle the switch for the app(s) you want to allow or disallow to use your device’s microphone.

Step 4 Manage your phone’s app permissions

Step 5: Go back to your iPhone’s Privacy settings.

Step 6: Select Camera and choose which apps can and can’t use it.

Step 6 Manage your phone’s app permissions

Step 7: Repeat Step 5 and manage the app permissions for your iPhone’s contacts, photos, local network, etc.

FIX 3. Turn off your Android phone’s Google Assistant

Difficulty Very Easy ●○○○○
Number of Steps4
Time to Perform Fix15 seconds
Things Needed• An Android phone

AI assistants like Google Assistant, Siri, and Alexa are operated mainly through voice commands, so developers record what you say to these virtual companions. Even Amazon admitted that they keep voice recordings that Alexa gathers.

While they say its purpose is to improve the AI assistant, they likely use them for other reasons that can’t be disclosed. Therefore, it’s best to turn off your AI assistant so you don’t have someone eavesdropping on you.

Step 1: Open your phone’s Google app.

Step 1 Turn off your Android phone’s Google Assistant

Step 2: Go to your Google account’s profile.

Step 2 Turn off your Android phone’s Google Assistant

Step 3: Click Settings.

Step 3 Turn off your Android phone’s Google Assistant

Step 4: Click Google Assistant.

Step 4 Turn off your Android phone’s Google Assistant

Step 5: Scroll down and open Google Assistant’s General settings.

Step 5 Turn off your Android phone’s Google Assistant

Step 6: Toggle the Google Assistant switch off.

Step 6 Turn off your Android phone’s Google Assistant

FIX 4. Change your Android phone’s browser privacy settings

Difficulty Very Easy ●○○○○
Number of Steps4
Time to Perform Fix15 seconds
Things Needed• Any smartphone

Like Apple’s Safari, the Google Chrome browser has a feature that allows you to stop websites and advertisers from tracking your activities via cross-site tracking. However, this feature will not prevent ads from appearing when you visit some web pages.

It will only prevent the web pages you visit from tracking your activities and sharing them with other pages, which means you won’t get the same ads. It will help stop you from thinking that websites you visit use wireless mind-reading technology.

Step 1: Open your phone’s Google Chrome app.

Step 1 Change your Android phone’s browser privacy settings

Step 2: Click the browser’s kebab menu.

Step 2 Change your Android phone’s browser privacy settings

Step 3: Click Settings.

Step 3 Change your Android phone’s browser privacy settings

Step 4: Click Privacy and Security.

Step 4 Change your Android phone’s browser privacy settings

Step 5: Click the Do Not Track option.

Step 5 Change your Android phone’s browser privacy settings

Step 6: Turn on the Do Not Track switch.

Step 6 Change your Android phone’s browser privacy settings

FIX 5. Turn off your phone’s location services

Difficulty Very Easy ●○○○○
Number of Steps4
Time to Perform Fix15 seconds
Things NeededAny smartphone

One of the information that most apps ask from you is your location, which advertisers use to provide you with personalized ads. It’s why you only get ads for products from your region or nearby regions that deliver to your area.

As such, it might lead you to wonder if your phone can read your mind since it knows the local products and services you might find interesting. However, please remember that location services are also essential for some apps to function.

For example, you can’t utilize map apps if you keep your phone’s GPS or location services disabled. Thus, we recommend your location be inaccessible so you can enable it only when necessary.

Step 1: Run the Settings app on your iPhone.

Step 1 Turn off your phone’s location services

Note: You can also manage the permission on your Android phone so be sure to check your device’s user manual to learn how it’s done.

Step 2: Scroll down and click your iPhone’s Privacy settings.

Step 2 Turn off your phone’s location services

Step 3: Click Location Services.

Step 3 Turn off your phone’s location services

Note: On Android devices, this might be called Location or GPS.

Step 4: Toggle the Location Services switch.

Step 4 Turn off your phone’s location services

FIX 6. Disable Analytics and Personalized Ads on iPhone

Difficulty Very Easy ●○○○○
Number of Steps5
Time to Perform Fix20 seconds
Things Needed• An iPhone

One way that Apple tracks your device usage and activity is through the Analytics & Improvements feature that collects your data every day. Believe it or not, the amount of activity data and information this feature gets from you is astronomical.

Even if they do use it to improve their services and products, the sheer amount of data collected is too much not to be concerned about. Plus, right below this option is one for Apple Advertising.

It’s where you can enable personalized ads on your iPhone so they can show you “relevant” ads. It makes you wonder if the phone knows your thoughts because of the data they collect from the device’s analytics and diagnostics.

Step 1: Run the Settings app on your iPhone.

Step 1 Disable Analytics and Personalized Ads on iPhone

Note: You can also manage the permission on your Android phone so be sure to check your device’s user manual to learn how it’s done.

Step 2: Scroll down and click your iPhone’s Privacy settings.

Step 2 Disable Analytics and Personalized Ads on iPhone

Step 3: Scroll down and click Analytics & Improvements.

Step 3 Disable Analytics and Personalized Ads on iPhone

Step 4: Toggle off the switches for the various analytics and diagnostics options to stop sending your usage data to Apple.

Step 4 Disable Analytics and Personalized Ads on iPhone

Step 5: Go back to your iPhone’s Privacy settings and click Apple Advertising to disable Personalized Ads.

Step 5 Disable Analytics and Personalized Ads on iPhone

FIX 7. Don’t allow apps to ask for tracking permission on iPhone

Difficulty Very Easy ●○○○○
Number of Steps5
Time to Perform Fix20 seconds
Things Needed• An iPhone

On your iPhone, there’s also a feature that allows your installed apps to request permission to track your activities. If you think about it, it’s not that concerning since it’s still up to you whether you want to give these apps permission or not.

However, most people who install apps on their phones simply accept all permissions, which is a loophole that features like this take advantage of. That’s why it’s important to check if you have this feature enabled on your iPhone.

After all, it’s always best not to leave any stone unturned regarding your privacy and security. Otherwise, you’ll be left wondering how your phone knows your thoughts.

Step 1: Run the Settings app on your iPhone.

Step 1 Don’t allow apps to ask for tracking permission on iPhone

Note: You can also manage the permission on your Android phone so be sure to check your device’s user manual to learn how it’s done.

Step 2: Scroll down and click your iPhone’s Privacy settings.

Step 2 Don’t allow apps to ask for tracking permission on iPhone

Step 3: Click Tracking.

Step 3 Don’t allow apps to ask for tracking permission on iPhone

Step 4: Toggle which app you want to allow or disallow to request to track your activities.

Step 4 Don’t allow apps to ask for tracking permission on iPhone

Step 5: Toggle off “Allow Apps to Request to Track to disallow all apps.

Step 5 Don’t allow apps to ask for tracking permission on iPhone

FAQs about Phones Knowing What You’re Thinking

Will my phone hear what I’m talking about? 

Your phone hears you if its AI Assistant is turned on since they’re programmed to always listen for voice commands. Some apps may also do this if you permit them to always use your phone’s microphone.

How does my phone know so much about me? 

A phone can record preferences, activities, and personal information, so it’s unsurprising that they know so much about you. Even if you don’t allow apps to access your phone’s data, it will keep on recording these data until it’s needed.

How can I stop my phone apps from tracking my user data? 

Not allowing your apps to collect your personal information and activity data will stop them from tracking it. However, it’s almost impossible since apps require access to some basic information before you can use them.

Thus, it creates a situation where you don’t have a choice unless you stop using these apps for good.

Is my phone watching me? 

A phone can watch you through its camera without your permission if someone else can access its functions remotely. Most phone cameras have a small dot that indicates if it’s turned on to let you know if someone is watching via your camera.

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