HOUSTON - Cyber experts warn there's a form of spying to watch out for: AirPod spying.
AirPod spying is where someone can use Apple AirPods, wireless Bluetooth earbuds, and their iPhone or iPad to eavesdrop on your conversation.
"AirPod spying uses a feature called Live Listen which is available in the newest versions, of IOS and iPod os," said PCMag's Max Eddy.
Eddy says Live Listen boosts sound from the microphone to help the hearing impaired or someone in a noisy space.
"It's about connecting to hearing aids and allowing people to hear better," he explained.
It's as simple as going into an iPhone's Settings, tapping Control Center, and tapping the green plus sign next to Hearing. Then swipe down from the right upper corner of the screen and tap the ear to turn on Live Listen.
What's alarming is that there are many videos on TikTok and the internet showing people how to use Live Listen for spying.
You won't know if someone has turned on Live Listen. But you might notice if someone wearing AirPods has left their phone near you. They could hear your conversation up to 50 feet away.
But how worried should we be? Eddy says bad guys actually have easier ways to spy on you.
"Like long-distance microphones, telephoto lenses, listening devices implanted in the area, someone getting onto your computer and installing a remote access Trojan to listen to you through your computer," he listed.
"Remote access trojans are a broad classification of malware, that I would say are common, but are not the kind of thing people encounter every day," Eddy added.
We asked Apple for comment on AirPod spying. We haven't heard back yet.
To protect yourself from any of these forms of spying, take note of anyone leaving an iPhone or iPad near you and report it. Don't hold private conversations in public spaces. And don't click on links or download websites or apps from emails or text messages from people you don't know. They could be malware that could access the microphone or camera on your computer.