How to Stop Google From Listening to You Secretly

Rahul Gupta

Having a voice assistant like Google Assistant on your phone is like having a friend that's always there when you need it. However, this friend is not sans privacy concerns and who knows, it might have been snooping on you.

Although there is no way to be sure and find out if your voice assistant has been spying on you, you can still disable it from eavesdropping once and for all.

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Credit: smoovey/Flick
Google already knows a lot about you and you really can do without another way of handing over your personal data to it.

Eavesdropper at Your Service

Even though Google Assistant is safely hidden behind the "Ok Google" keyword, it's anybody's guess that it's always aware and listening to your conversations to find out when you say the magic words so that it can get busy helping you.

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Stop Google From Listening 1

Enough said, I personally feel that I'm a wee bit safer without my phone helping me with voice commands. If you also want to know how to stop Google from listening to you secretly, here are all the ways.

1. Disabling the "Ok Google" Detection

Google Now is now literally on every phone that you see. Needless to say that the Google Assistant is also a big part of it and is waiting for you to say 'Ok Google' to activate itself. 

However, disabling it from doing that is easier than you think. 

Step 1: Go to Google Now and open Settings. You can also do it from your Google account settings. From the following screen, select Voice to proceed. 

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Stop Google From Listening 3

Step 2: Here, you'll see a lot of voice-related options. Select Voice Match and move to the next screen.

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Step 3: Here, you will see an option named Say "Ok Google" any time, and a toggle switch right next to it. Turn the switch off and your phone will now not be on a lookout for the magic words.

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Bonus Tip: Even though the "Ok Google" keyword detection is off, this feature will continue to work with Google Maps. To stop it from doing that, turn the switch right next to While driving option off. 
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Stop Google From Listening 8

2. Completely Disable Voice and Audio Activity on Google

Okay, while the first step takes care of Google Now. But, you can never really be completely sure as to where Google might have incorporated the voice recognition feature.

Therefore, to be really safe, all you need to do is completely disable voice and audio activity on Google. Here's how you can turn it off.

Step 1: Go to your Google account settings. From there, select Accounts & privacy to proceed. On the following screen, locate the Google activity controls option. 

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Stop Google From Listening 10
Note: These are universal Google settings, any changes you make here will reflect on all linked devices. Therefore, choose carefully. 

Step 2: Now, your device will show you a couple of options. Among them, choose Voice & Audio Activity.

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Step 3: You will be presented with the option to pause all voice-related activity on your account.

If you're looking for a temporary solution, you can pause all activity for some time or choose to completely turn it off.

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Don't Say the Magic Word

It's not necessary that Google or any other voice assistant service might be eavesdropping on your conversations. 

The problem arises when these services that are there to genuinely help users are hacked by non-social elements.

Google Home

Imagine a scenario where your voice-based assistant is hacked. All you say is potentially at risk and there are ways, by which hackers can tap into your conversations.

Software and services like these are great but a lot of caution must be practiced while using them.

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#google #google now

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Rahul Gupta

Written By

Rahul Gupta

Rahul Gupta has been closely following personal technology for over a decade. When not writing or talking about technology, Rahul loves to spend time with his motorbikes or brewing a nice cup of coffee.