did my phone hear what I said
The Well Armed Woman Blog

Was My Phone Listening To Me?

A few weeks ago, my husband and I decided we needed a little time away from the office so we got in the car and headed north into the mountains. I safely packed my computer out of reach in the back and I placed my cell phone in the cup holder with no intention of touching it. With life as busy as it is, it seems like we have our longest, single topic conversations when we “unplug” from technology and we are alone in the car!

What Did We Talk About?

I am working on a new book and want to get his feedback on some new ideas I have. We spent the trip enjoying the gorgeous desert scenery and talking about my book. When we arrived a couple of hours later, I grabbed my phone out of the cup holder. I was feeling proud of myself as I hadn’t touched it once the entire trip!

There was a notification waiting for me. Now, that didn’t surprise me, but what it said did!

There on my phone screen was this notification: “Want to be a famous author? Save 40% on ghost writer services at www._____”  (some website I don’t remember.) I was stunned. It wasn’t a message from a contact, an email, or Facebook tagging me in a post. It was a notification. Once I read it, it was gone. I really was horrified and angry. I felt like I had been violated. How could this possibly be? I hadn’t touched my phone once the entire trip. I hadn’t done any google searches on how to publish a book. It really got under my skin. I was so upset thinking that my phone was listening to us. Who exactly might have the ability to “listen in” to my conversations. Was I crazy? Can this really happen?


After venting this experience on my Facebook page, I couldn’t believe all of the comments and responses of others who have had a similar experience. I decided to ask my friend, Sam Bocetta, a cyber security analyst who has written a couple of articles for The Well Armed Woman,  if this were possible, could he write an article for me on the subject and if it were true, give some tips on how to protect ourselves. Of course he has come through and you can read his article here. If something like this has happened to you, I would love to hear about it in the comments below.


I also want to mention, along with all of this cybersecurity talk, it is a good idea to always monitor your credit score and identity. There are so many ways thieves can take your personal information without you knowing. The tools today can alert you whenever your information is found on the dark web or if there is strange activity related to your identity. A great tool to help monitor your identity can be found by clicking HERE. If you don’t have a service like this I highly recommend you start.


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5 thoughts on “Was My Phone Listening To Me?

  1. jgswineford26 says:

    Ginger Martin, I like your clever idea, and I would like to hear about any results. Thanks!

  2. Linda says:

    My adult son and I were making Christmas fudge in the kitchen and of all the random things to talk about, we were talking about moving the US embassy to Jerusalem. I picked up my phone to Google something, and the first auto suggestion was, is the US embassy in Jerusalem? Super creepy.

  3. Vicky Flint says:

    My husband and I were talking about taking a road trip to Montana, and stopping in Billings to see friends who moved there recently. Neither of us did any online searches about this trip, just our conversation.

    The next time I was online, I had clicked on a link to read an article in a professional journal online. Among the ads the populated along the right-hand margin, the TOP ad was “Visit Billings.” Then a banner ad populated across the top stating “Come See Montana.”


  4. Mariland Thompson says:

    I don’t know about my phone, but I’m wondering about Amazon Alexa? She’s
    activated (come on) when I haven’t addressed her.

  5. Ginger Martin says:

    Carrie, I know exactly how you felt because it was happening all the time with me, whether I was messaging my son or speaking to him verbally with my phone. When I first told him about it he thought I was just being paranoid.
    I think I will do an experiment and encourage others to do the same. I’ll make a list of things that I’m not interested in, that I would never discuss, like a vacation in Antarctica, for example. Then talk about the things on that list and see how well my phone is listening.

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