Despite spending a lot of our regular time on our phones, many of us do not comprehend the significance of knowing whether or not our devices are being monitored or tracked.
The majority of individuals will believe that these hackers will not be able to obtain anything from them because they are not a celebrity. However, that is the first step to falling prey to cybercrimes. Keep reading to know how to tell if your phone is tapped and what to do next.
Why You Need To Know If Your Phone Is Tapped
It is critical to know whether or not your phone is being tapped or tracked, regardless of your position or status. There is a good chance you believe that you do not have anything of interest on your phone, but this is not always the case. Most individuals have social networking, banking, and messaging apps installed on their smartphones, which attract hackers.
Once a cybercriminal obtains access to your contact information or other sensitive information, they can efficiently utilize this information to their advantage.
It is also beneficial to be aware of whether or not your phone is being tapped so that one can take the required precautions to avoid it. Because of this, it is always a good idea to exercise caution when engaging in internet activities that could expose you to potential threats.
How To Tell If Your Phone Is Tapped
You’ve probably heard an unusual sound on the phone, such as a click or static. Understandably, many people are afraid that their personal and business communications may not be kept private.
Especially if your smartphone has been jailbroken or rooted to use third-party applications, it may be exposed to tapping. It needs a little detective work to determine whether you are the victim of a phone tap.
If you face more than two issues indicated below, it might be a good time to be serious about your cyber privacy.
1. Low Battery Life
This is especially true if your phone’s battery life has suddenly become significantly shorter than it used to be or if the battery begins to warm up while the phone is being used. It’s likely that tapping software operates silently in the background and eats battery power.
Are you frequently reaching for your phone lately? Have you noticed that you’re making more phone calls or using applications more often than usual? Your phone’s battery may be depleting faster than usual if this is the case.
However, suppose you can’t think of anything else you could be doing differently. In that case, you can utilize your phone’s settings to receive specific information on what’s consuming your battery’s power, or you can download an app to get more detailed information about your battery performance.
On an iOS device, navigate Settings > Battery > Battery Usage, then scroll down to the bottom of the screen.
You can check which apps consume the most battery power on an Android phone by searching for energy usage in the Settings app or Settings > Device > Battery.
Finally, using the procedures described above, examine your app usage and then recheck it a few days later to determine which ones have changed the most. If you use those apps regularly, your usage is likely due to their high battery consumption.
However, if you don’t use them very often, something unusual should be the reason: such as a virus that has tapped into your phone. It is suggested that you delete the app.
2. Shutting Down Error
A third party may have acquired illegal access to your smartphone if the device has abruptly become less responsive or has trouble shutting down properly. Examine your phone’s shutdown to determine whether it fails or if the backlight remains on even after you’ve finished the shutdown process. If that’s the case, malicious malware or a fault caused by a recent phone upgrade could be to blame for the problem.
3. Electronic Interference
When your phone is near other electronic equipment, such as a laptop, conference phone, or television, it is relatively common to experience interference with the call. As long as you’re not actively using your phone, it is fine if you don’t experience any static or interference.
Check whether you detect any static or interference when you aren’t actively using your phone. Consider placing your phone next to another electrical device and paying attention to whether or not you hear any weird sounds. It could be a clue that someone is listening to your conversations if you do.
One way is to see whether your radio generates a high-pitched sound when it’s set to mono and tuned to the far end of the band. This technique works for the tapping devices that operate on frequencies close to those of the FM radio spectrum. If you hear that noise, it’s possible that your phone has been tapped and is interfering with the radio signal.
The same is true in the case of television broadcast frequencies employing UHF (ultra-high frequency) channels. You can check for interference by bringing your phone into proximity to a television that has an antenna attached to it.
4. Suspicious Activity
Checking for suspicious activities is how to tell if your phone is tapped. If your phone begins to switch on or off on its own, or if it starts to install apps on its own, it is possible that someone has hacked it with a spy program and is attempting to intercept your calls.
Movement of Icons
It is recommended that the network activity icons and other progress bars at the top of the screen not appear to be animated when you are not using your phone. If you see moving icons, someone may remotely use your phone or transfer data in the background.
In addition, if private data that one previously saved only on the phone has been exposed on social media, this could indicate that your phone is being tapped. Notes, emails, images, or any other material that you’ve saved on your phone should remain on your phone until you want to make it available to the general public. The data on your phone could be remotely extracted by a hacker, who could then post the personal files on the internet.
Although we are becoming more comfortable with ads being a little too relatable in cyberspace, there is always a possibility of strange pop-ups that could indicate the existence of spyware or a tapping software on your computer.
You may also receive unusual texts or SMS messages from unknown senders, which may contain garbled letters and numbers. This is another key indicator that someone is attempting to tap your phone.
5. Strange Background Noise
If you are on a voice call and you hear pulsating static noise, high-pitched humming, or other weird background noises, it is possible that your phone is being tapped.
If you hear funny sounds such as beeping, clicking, or static when you are not on a call, this could be another indication that your phone has been tapped.
However, weird noises sometimes appear on cell and landline calls from time to time, so this isn’t always a solid indication that something is wrong.
A sound-bandwidth sensor operating at a low frequency can be used to listen for inaudible sounds on your phone. You can measure the sound on a potentially tapped device by using a noise detector app downloaded from another phone. If it detects sounds more than once in a minute, one may have tapped your phone.
6. Third-Party Apps
Third-party applications have the potential to be a source of malware or spyware. Additionally, if you’ve lately downloaded software from a source other than the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store, this should raise your suspicions.
Even if you’re downloading your apps through legitimate methods, some scammers use well-known program names and icons when constructing their fraudulent apps to trick you into downloading them.
For this reason, it’s a good idea to conduct a Google search on both the software and its developer before downloading to ensure that they’re both genuine entities. Use caution when using applications requiring permission to view your call history, address book, or contact list.
7. Higher Than Usual Phone Bill
Suppose you notice a considerable increase in text or data consumption on your phone bill. That could be another indication that someone has hacked into your phone.
Suppose you have recently downloaded a new program that consumes a significant amount of data. In that case, this could be a natural explanation for the sudden increase in data usage.
However, there is always a possibility that spyware and other harmful programs are using your cellular data plan to conduct transactions in your absence. If you see an unexpected spike in data usage on your phone bill and don’t have an apparent reason, you should contact your phone carrier for assistance.
What To Do Next If Your Phone Is Tapped
Now that we have covered how to tell if your phone is tapped let us talk about what to do next. If you discover that your phone has been tapped, you may take precise steps to uninstall any tapping software that you may have installed on your phone. Moreover, follow the steps mentioned below.
Turn On Airplane Mode
You must first disconnect all of your phone’s connections with outside sources connected to your phone using spy software.
The quickest and most convenient method of accomplishing this is to switch to airplane mode. Once you’ve set your phone to airplane mode, you may move on to the next step.
Scan Your Phone
Go through the whole list of applications currently installed on your phone. Remove any apps that you don’t remember installing. You may also see which applications consume the most memory on your computer.
On your Android device: Go to Settings > Apps and then select Running from the drop-down menu.
On your iPhone: You can do the following: Select Settings > General > iPhone Storage from the drop-down menu.
Make sure to double-check any apps that seem suspect or that you are unfamiliar with. Most spyware is disguised as system applications, with titles such as “security,” “scanner,” and “messenger” to deceive the user.
Turn On Safe Mode
It is possible that an app will not allow you to uninstall it. Start your phone in safe mode, which will only allow it to load the essential system functions and disable all third-party apps and modifications. This also makes it simple to uninstall any complex applications producing problems, such as spyware.
To enter Safe Mode on your Android device, follow these steps:
- While the device is powered on, press and hold the Power key to activate it.
- Hold down the power button until you see Reboot to safe mode appear.
- To proceed, press OK.
To put your iPhone into Safe Mode, follow these steps:
- Turn off your iPhone if you have one.
- To turn on your device, press and hold the Power button for a few seconds.
- Once your iPhone’s screen has come to life, press the Volume Down button until the Apple logo shows on the net.
When everything else fails, a factory reset is the last resort. It will remove any third-party applications from your device.
Follow these instructions to perform a factory reset on Android:
- Navigate to the Settings menu.
- Select Backup and Reset from the drop-down menu.
- Select Factory Data Reset and then Erase All Apps from the menu.
To reset your iPhone to its factory settings, take these steps:
- Go to the Settings menu.
- Select Reset from the General menu.
- Select the Reset All Settings option from the drop-down menu.