If you have a reason to believe that your phone is tapped or being monitored in some way, there are several clues that might help you validate your suspicions. Most of these indicators are usually caused by other sources. However, you need to check for several signs instead of merely relying on one.
Once you have sufficient evidence, you can plan for your next step; or perhaps, report it to your carrier and the cybercrime division in your area. Be aware that tapping and tracking of cell phones is strictly prohibited by the law.
To give you a brief background on this matter, cell phone tapping is when another party attempts to access your cell phone without your permission to obtain information, monitor your calls, and listen to your phone conversations.
Some phone calls and text message spying software have features that allow a person to record and listen to your live calls. However, using these features is strictly illegal.
In its simplest sense, cell phone tapping is a malicious act that has become extremely widespread. It is a typical occurrence in this present and technology-driven world. The reasons also vary to a great extent, from wanting to catch a cheating husband or boyfriend, to finding evidence against another person or criminal, all the way to stealing vital information.
There are many tell-tale signs that can give you the impression that your cell phone is being tapped somehow. These signs may be subtle, but if you know exactly the indications that you should watch out for, it could be alarming to some extent. Here are the signs to look for if you suspect somebody may be secretly tapping and tracking your phone.
1. Unusual sounds and strange noise during calls.
If you hear clicking sounds, echoes, and static through your phone while having a conversation, it could be an indication that your phone is tapped. Hearing strange noises and distant voices are not typically normal in this generation's digital network. So if you happen to hear fragmentary sounds during a call, there's a possibility that your call is being monitored.
Hearing high-pitch hums and unusual sounds that seem so distant are major indications, so try to be cautious about these. Other disturbing noises that you need to watch out for are clicking, scratching, and reverberating sounds. So, unless these sounds are due to random interference or bad connection, your phone might be tapped.
2. Cell phone battery gets unusually hot even when not in use.
Pay close attention to your cell phone's battery. If it gets unusually hot even when you're not using it and cannot think of any other reason behind it, don't dismiss the possibility that there is tap software or spy app running in the background. This is what's causing your phone's battery to get hot and constantly in use.
Be aware that a warm battery may also be an indication of overuse. This usually happens to cell phones that are more than one to two years. The cell batteries tend to decline over a certain period of time, particularly with constant and active use of the cell phone for calls and heavy applications. Unless this is the case, you have every reason to feel suspicious that your phone might be tapped or is currently being tracked.
3. Phone takes longer than usual to shut down.
Try to shut down your phone and see if the process gets longer than usual. If the shutdown process cannot be completed, it could be a sign that someone else is manipulating your phone. Pay attention if the backlight stays on for a long time while it's shutting down or if something strange is happening like an error or failure.
While this could indicate hardware or software glitch, it may also mean that your phone is tapped, and someone else is preventing its shutdown.
4. Unusual activity on your cell phone.
If you are receiving text messages with random characters, numbers, and symbols from a phone number that you don't recognize, it is likely that a spy app has tapped your phone to access its messages and listen to your calls.
This could happen to both Android and iPhone. Be mindful if your phone is acting up strangely, such as turning on and off randomly for no reason, suddenly lighting up without any notifications, and hearing alerts while it's in silent mode. Such unusual activities could mean that somebody is tracking your phone and is trying to access important details.
5. Your cell phone's battery is always low.
Another important indication of a bugged cell phone is significantly reduced battery life. A tapped phone involves recording all of its activities and transmitting the data to a third party. This leaves noticeable evidence in the form of increased battery consumption, resulting in a battery that drains faster than normal.
In some cases, a tapped cell phone may be constantly recording conversations in a room even while the phone appears idle. The camera may also be fully accessed even though you are not using it, and this can be very creepy and disturbing.
As a result of all these activities, your cell phone's battery performance can severely become affected. However, you must also take note that many other things can cause a cell phone's battery to drain fast. These include prolonged usage, several applications running all at the same time, and setting your phone screen's brightness to maximum.
Still, if you're certain that you've completely exerted every possible means to extend your cell phone's battery life, and it's still frequently running low, this could mean that it's tapped.
6. Increase in data usage.
This is perhaps the strongest evidence that your cell phone is tapped. A lot of spy programs and apps send logs of your cell phone records to online servers. Unfortunately, they make use of your data plan to complete this task.
Here's a trick that most experts rely on; older programs tend to use larger amounts of data, which makes them easier to recognize and spot. However, new and up-to-date programs are far more concealable since they make use of less data.
Furthermore, some less reliable spy software uses additional data to send out information from your cell phone to a third party. The result is an unexplained increase in your periodic data consumption. If you notice a significant shoot up in your data usage and you don't have the slightest idea why there's a chance that your cell phone is tapped.
7. Unwanted ads and apps suddenly appear.
It's most likely that you know what's on your cell phone, particularly the apps that are constantly running in the background. However, if you did not install them, consider them malicious. An example of such malware that tampers with your cell phone is Hummer, a Trojan that severely infected around 1.4 million Android devices every single day way back in 2016.
Victims noticed several intrusive ads, since malicious software does not usually hide its existence. Upon installation, it aims to achieve root access to the device's administrative rights, which enables it to download unwanted content that is extremely difficult (and even impossible) to delete.
The malware may also trick you into downloading fake system updates to achieve complete dominion over your cell phone activities. This could result in pop-up ads that transmit information to a server that is duly controlled by hackers or a third party. On top of the so-called click-fraud, malicious malware can also intercept your messages and control important apps on your cell phone.
8. Familiar websites suddenly look different.
If there's a malicious app or spy program on your cell phone, it could change the appearance of the websites you often visit. The malware serves as a proxy that intercepts the communication between you and the website you're trying to access. It may present a false page and keep track of everything you enter – and it won't matter even if you are browsing in private.
This could potentially cost you huge bucks if you are using a website that requires personal information like your username and password. These include online banking websites, social media apps, and your email.
Here's a trick that might help; you will most likely notice some differences such as pixelated logos, changes that look suspicious, and a web design that looks significantly strange and unfamiliar.
Nothing is entirely conclusive as to whether your phone is tapped or not, unless an expert examines it. The key is to always be watchful and conscious about the possible red flags. If you feel that something is off, trust your gut feel and do something about it. It's always better to be overly cautious now than to be sorry later on.
Moreover, be aware that in some cases, another person can tap your phone simply by using a spy app, hacking device, or special software. It may seem unlikely, but it's possible. This is one of the reasons why top cell phone manufacturers consistently add special features to their products to prevent such occurrences.
However, despite their conscious efforts, incidences of phone tapping are still being reported. The trouble is that most people are not fully aware of what phone tapping is, including its implications and the serious signs that their phone is being secretly tracked. Sadly, it could happen to anyone, and the outcomes can be devastating, particularly if your phone carries a lot of information about you.
If you care about your safety and privacy, as well as that of your loved ones, share this information with them. Spreading awareness to all cell phone users can potentially minimize the incidences of phone tapping and can spare a lot of people from the inconveniences of being monitored for malicious purposes.
As a last piece of advice, never leave your phone unattended and don't give your number to people you don't trust. As much as you can, do not access important apps and websites on your cell phone that require your username and password when using public Wi-Fi.