Last week, a speech recognition developer found a potential exploit in the Chrome web browser that could possibly let malicious web sites activate your Mac’s microphone and listen in on any sounds your mic might pick up around you. Even if you’re not actively using your computer, the mic could be active and conversations, meetings, and phone calls could potentially be recorded or listened in on.
Luckily, there’s a way to keep this from happening, because–however remote the possibility–it’s always a good idea to keep your private information, including real-world conversations, private.
Of course, if you don’t use the Chrome browser at all, this won’t apply to you.
All you need to do is launch the Chrome browser on your Mac from the Dock, the Applications folder, or with an app launcher like Alfred.
Next, type the following into the address/search bar at the top of the browser, where you usually type in a web address or search term.
This will bring up the Media Exceptions window, which will show you what websites can access your audio and video streams via your Mac’s built-in camera and microphone. Hover over the line of the site you want to revoke privileges for, click on the little X to the right of the site name, and then click Done.
If you’d like to disable your microphone altogether, type the following into the address bar:
Then you can click on the radio button next to “Do not allow any sites to access my camera and microphone. Now no websites will be able to access your audio visual stream, no matter how malicious.