WHAT’S THAT DOT? INDICATOR LIGHTS OFFER KEY PHONE SECURITY ALERTS

iPhone users may have noticed that an orange dot and a green dot now occasionally appear in the top corner of their home screen. These dots, called indicator lights, they users to when an app uses their camera or microphone.

These new features came with the release of Apple’s iOS 14 operating system update, which introduced a number of new tools to help users protect their privacy, and force apps to be more transparent with how they use your phone.

When an orange dot appears in the top-right corner of your screen (right above your cellular bars), it means that an app is using your iPhone’s microphone. For example, if you’re recording a reminder using the Voice Memo app, the orange dot will appear. The orange dot also appears when making phone calls or using the Siri function. 

When the green dot appears in the top-right corner of your screen (also right above your cellular bars), it’s an indication that an app is using your iPhone’s camera, or both its camera and microphone. This will appear when, for instance, you open Instagram and use the Stories feature to make a video, or when you place a FaceTime call.

When either dot appears, it’s easy to find out what app is using your iPhone’s microphone or camera. When one of the indicator lights appears, swipe down from the screen’s top-right corner to access the Control Center. At the top, the name of the app will appear, along with whether it used your phone’s camera or microphone.

For Android smartphone users, similar protections were rolled out with the release of the Android 11 operating system. It completely eliminates location, camera, and microphone access in the background. In other words, Apps cannot ask for these three permissions while working in the background. Similarly, in Android 10, if an app uses location in the background, you are notified by a location pin at the top-right corner. 

If you still want to monitor apps that may or may not be using your camera or microphone on an Android phone, you can also install a free app called Access Dots that performs much like the Apple indicator lights function.

These indicator lights offer a convenient way to monitor if and when a third-party app uses your device’s microphone or camera without consent. If you find that an app is accessing your microphone or camera without requesting permission first, you should delete and report it.

27 Thoughts on "WHAT’S THAT DOT? INDICATOR LIGHTS OFFER KEY PHONE SECURITY ALERTS"

  1. Ruby Scarber says

    Can I use my I-phone that I used with Verizon?

    reply to Ruby

    • Hi Ruby, thanks for your interest! If your iPhone is unlocked from the carrier, is GSM-compatible, and VoLTE capable, it may work on our network. We can’t guarantee compatibility for all models, but we’ll do all that we can to see if we can get it connected for you.

      reply to Jacob

  2. Gayle Thompson says

    I called probably two weeks ago and asked how I could lower my bill.
    CSR was very helpful and said my bill would be lowered to $56 because I was paying for coverage that I wasn’t using and had been for a few months. CSR explained CC will up the coverage if we go over but I must call and ask to have it lowered again. Then-about 3 days ago my bill came – rate was still $106. WHY?

    reply to Gayle

  3. Virginia M Henry says

    I got a message I used 75% of my data. What is data? What am I doing to use data? How can I lower it?

    reply to Virginia

    • Hi Virginia, thanks for your questions! Data is internet usage, such as using apps like Facebook, sending or receiving emails, opening the web browser, etc. when you’re away from your WiFi connection. To keep usage low, we recommend connecting to WiFi as often as possible, or you can also turn data off in the settings of the phone if it’s not something you want to use much.

      reply to Jacob

  4. Angela Anderson says

    if I apply for your service and buy a p
    hone from Target, can they turn it on and transfer all my data from my contacts and gallery pictures. Also down loaded apps. I do have a AARP card.

    reply to Angela

    • Hi Angela, thanks for your interest in our service! Some of our partnered Targets can definitely help you with that process. We do recommend giving the Target you’re wanting to visit a call ahead of time first though to make sure someone will be there, and that this kind of assistance will be available for you.

      reply to Jacob

  5. Barbara Silverman says

    I was just about ready to switch our account from AT&T to you and found out that my cellular Apple Watch will not work as a cellular device independent of the phone if I go with your company. Apparently you don’t support eSIM technology. I am very disappointed. Will you be offering this support anytime SOON?

    reply to Barbara

  6. Barbara Silverman says

    So, I am a little confused. AT & T has the eSIM technology and you use AT & T towers, so why can’t you have it as well? I really need my watch to have this capability right now. That’s why I spent the extra money to get the cellular service on the watch. Could you please escalate this question. I really want to be able to switch to your company in the next couple of months. It would be great to do it while you have the $100.00 per line promotion.
    Thank you!

    reply to Barbara

    • Hi Barbara, thanks for your comment. Keep in mind that even though we use AT&T’s towers, we are not partnered with them for all of their technology. We do not support the eSIM card, but I am happy to send up your suggestion for going forward in the future. Thank you!

      reply to Jacob

  7. James Harp says

    I am considering switching from Verizon to your service. I would use the 2 line option with unlimited talk, text and data. The online ads say the cost would be $75.00 plus tax and fees. Can you tell me what the average tax and fee costs would be on this service in the 28546 zip code area of NC?

    reply to James

    • Hi James, thanks for your interest in our service! We don’t have the tax rates for all the different areas, but it can generally run around 15-20 percent. If you have access to view your bill either physically or online through your account, the taxes for your area should be listed on that and you can also get an exact amount that way as well.

      reply to Jacob

  8. Barbara Silverman says

    Yes, please escalate my request. It is the only thing keeping me from making the switch immediately. If it is a problem for me, I am sure that it is a problem for others. You are losing lots of potential business without offering this.
    How can I be notified when this eSIM service becomes available?

    reply to Barbara

  9. Damita Taylor says

    Ok was thinking on this received in mail today Consumer Cellular so I’m thru T-Mobile and I want to keep my phone plus my Son has straight talk need more information on switching to this service.

    reply to Damita

  10. Anonymous says

    Just a comment = For IPhone, VoLTE capability is NOT necessary for use on ANY cellular network, it is only a money maker for CC because it uses DATA, and when DATA goes over a CC customer budget, you UP the bill. We have experience in both wireless & landline telecom. I actually helped launch cell phones in southern New England 25 years ago. Thanks for reading.

    reply to Anonymous

    • Hi there, thanks for your post. We do need to have the phones be VoLTE capable, otherwise, they won’t work on our network, including iPhones. At this time, any iPhone that is the iPhone 6 or newer does meet this requirement. If you have any questions, give us a call at 800-686-4460 or chat with one of our agents here for further assistance.

      reply to Jacob

  11. Barbara Silverman says

    Is eSIM something that CC is working on presently?

    reply to Barbara

    • Hi Barbara, thanks for your question. Since the eSIM is something only a limited number of providers are offering at this point, we don’t have any updates on this. If it’s something we will be offering soon or start to offer though, we will let our customers know as soon as possible.

      reply to Jacob

  12. Cecil thompson says

    If you noticed I haven’t used my Moto G phone at all since new from you on 7-14-21. You gave me a phone number that still has the last person assigned to that number on it and I am getting her nasty calls, bill collectors and angry lawyers. Her name shows up on the caller ID along with mine when I make a voice call. Need a new (cleaned number) or what ever it takes to rid myself of her so I can use this phone as I originally intended to .I feel the problem is not up to me to correct but CS.

    reply to Cecil

    • Hi Cecil, thanks for your post. Areas do not generate brand new numbers unless there is a new area code added to that spot, so we can assign you a new number if you’d like, but we can’t guarantee that it will not have belonged to anyone before. Due to landline companies not updating that information often, there are some steps our customers may have to take and have their loved ones take, such as clearing out their caller ID devices to let the change go through, in order for those changes to take effect.

      reply to Jacob

  13. Cecil thompson says

    Jacob, I’m 83 yr.’s old retired USN and never gotten myself into something I couldn’t get out of except for now. I guess my next step is find out who is responsible of attaching phone numbers to new phones in my area and haggle with them. Don’t depend on me to give CS an automatic 10 when the (how did we do survey) comes out.

    reply to Cecil

    • Hi Cecil, numbers are assigned randomly by the system depending on what is available for your area. At this point, you are welcome to have a new number assigned but we can’t guarantee it’ll be a brand new number. Let us know if there are any other questions we can help though!

      reply to Jacob

  14. Ed Hadley says

    my voicemail indicator flashing greenall the time, whats up

    reply to Ed

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