Illinois iPhone Users Shouldn’t Panic, That Colored Dot On Your Phone Is A Good Thing
We know "they're always listening" when it comes to our smartphones. As long as you have nothing illegally happening via said phone, why are people so concerned?
"I don't want them knowing where I am. Hold on, let me just put the location into my GPS." - random person
So, with these new dots (yes, two of them) appearing on iPhones, there is no need to panic.
There is a new "dot" appearing above your cell signal icon. Sometimes it'll appear green, sometimes it'll appear red, most of the time it won't appear at all. The latter actually depends on how often you are using your microphone or camera.
For the conspiracy theorists, Apple is not checking in on your phone and it is not some spamware that comes from whatever weird websites sitting in the browser history. For the rest of us, this is a new security step within the iPhone's latest update.
If you see that dot and it is green there is an app that is using your camera at that very moment. (Go ahead, open your camera for proof.) If the "dot" is red, there is an app using your microphone. (I'll wait while you try it. Just summon Siri.)
What is this new feature?
This new security feature, as explained by Popular Mechanics, is for your protection. Generally, your camera and microphone are only accessible by your iPhone if you've allowed access.
If this dot is making an appearance even though you aren't using your camera or microphone there may be a problem. You either have accidentally left an app open that is using one of those features or one of those apps is spying on you.
I can't see a scenario where you're getting spied on but it is 2020. Either way, now you know why that dot is there unless you haven't updated your iPhone.