In today’s technological world, people can find ways to see and listen to you while you aren’t aware. Since it’s so rare to see someone without a mobile device, tapping a phone is one of the easiest ways to spy on people. Whether you still have a landline or a cell phone, be vigilant and monitor your digital privacy. Although landlines are not as popular as they once were, some are still used and they can be more easily tapped than cell phones. Detecting a tap on a cell phone is also much easier because there are several ways to alert yourself of possible warning signs.
While law enforcement usually taps phones to apprehend criminals, hackers and criminals themselves can gather valuable information from someone by doing this. It’s not just criminals either since a jealous partner can install spyware or an app on your iPhone or Android to listen to your conversations and read your text messages.
Fortunately, there are certain giveaways that something is wrong with your device and software you can use to untap your phone.
Warning Signs Your Phone Is Tapped
Having a cell phone battery that heats up is a classic indicator there may be something wrong with your phone. It could be a completely different problem, but it could be a sign that malware is running in the background and draining your battery power. If the malicious software consumes a lot of resources tracking all of your activity, it can heat up the systems causing them to run non-stop leading to a hot battery.
But, older smartphones with a slow processor and older battery can also simply heat up when they can no longer handle a high processing power required from modern or updated apps.
You should monitor all the apps you have installed on your phone. Finding apps that you don’t recognize could also indicate your mobile phone has been compromised. Never open a suspicious app you don’t recognize and delete it instead. Hackers will be sneaky and try to name their malware apps to other similar apps on a device. So if you see two calculator apps or messaging apps you’ve never used before, you might be getting tracked. Some monitoring apps can hide in plain sight.
Increased Data Usage
It’s vital that you keep an eye on your cell phone bills and closely monitor your data usage. Spikes in mobile data that you did not incur could indicate a tap on your phone. This relates to other signs where unfamiliar apps running in the background can consume your data. If you have unlimited data, it can be hard to figure out since most people with these plans don’t look at how much data they use.
Malware and illegal taps can significantly slow down your device. If you notice your mobile phone is not as fast as it used to be, you might want to do some investigating. This can be due to a range of things like buffering videos, slowness when closing or opening apps, and random delays. This sort of goes hand in hand with a hot battery, where it can also simply occur for older phones that can’t handle the latest processing power expectations from the latest software.
Receiving unfamiliar texts with random numbers and symbols can also signify that someone has your phone tapped. It can also mean that someone is trying to hack you. Never click on a link that you don’t recognize. SMS phishing is becoming more advance and savvy. Sometimes hackers will send a text saying you got a package from Amazon with a fake link. Other times, you might get text messages from your “bank” claiming something is wrong with your bank account and requires you to look at it.
Microphone and Camera Randomly Turn On
If your microphone or camera comes on at random times, that should alert you that your phone might be tapped. There might be third party apps who can see and hear everything you’re doing. There are very few Apple or Android bugs that cause this, so if it happens immediately put tape around the front and back cameras. Consider calling your mobile service to inform them of what’s going on or taking your mobile phone to the Apple Store or Best Buy GeekSquad to get it looked at.
Background Noises When Talking
If you’re on a voice call and hear strange background noises like static or humming, this might indicate you’re being listened to. Law enforcement is allowed to legally tap your phone, but this is done with the cooperation of your phone carrier. Criminals can also use devices to tap your landline, but they need access to your telephone wires to install these. This method is not as common since its simpler to tap specific cell phones.
You’re limited if you’re trying to untap a landline. You need to contact your carrier and explain your suspicions to the best of your ability. If it is indeed an illegal tap on your phone, they can assist you. If, however, you find that they are being uncooperative, it might be because they may be unable to remove a legal tap. In this case, you might want to do some soul searching and figure out why that’s happening.
Ways To Untap Your Phone
Untapping a cell phone is significantly easier than untapping a landline. If you’re trying to figure out how to untap your phone, here are different things you can try. It’s worth trying more than one method, since any private information you have on your phone is at risk of being compromised.
Do A Factory Reset
The most reliable way to untap your phone is to do a complete factory reset. Before resetting, back up any data and photos to an external device but be careful about what you save so you don’t accidentally transport the virus or malware elsewhere.
The reset completely erases everything on your phone, including your mobile apps. So if you don't backup your data, you won't be able to get it back unless you use mobile forensic tools. Since there are different ways to do it on an iPhone and Android phone, search for steps based on your mobile operating system. Your mobile service provider can also help you with this.
Use A Mobile Antivirus
Another way to untap your phone is to find the spyware manually and delete it using an antivirus app. This might not be as effective as a factory reset if you’re unable to find everything that needs to be deleted. However, there are plenty of quality mobile virus cleaners, ransomware and malware removal software that can help get rid of spyware installed on your phone. Software like McAfee AntiVirus Plus, Bitdefender Total Security or Norton Antivirus can help keep your iOS and Android phones safe.
Use A VPN
One of the most common reasons phones get hacked, or data gets tracked is people connecting to public WiFi networks. Use a VPN to encrypt mobile data that gets sent over WiFi and prevent any wandering eyes from listening or viewing your information. A VPN also hides your IP so other people or spy software can’t track you. Some of the most popular choices are Express VPN and Nord VPN. A VPN is one of the top anti-tracking software tools you can use to keep all your information safe and secure.
Replace Your Phone
Perhaps the best way to rid yourself of an illegal tap is to simply replace your phone. While factory resets and anti-malware software can bring things back to normal for the most part, you’ll never be 100% secure as simply replacing an infected phone. If you don’t want to invest in a new phone, ask your carrier if they can try to untap the phone. You pay for cellphone service, so ensuring your privacy is a service they should provide. They might also simply send you a new SIM card.
It can be worrying if you think your phone has been hacked, especially if you have sensitive information. Knowing the warning signs can help keep your private information safe. But it’s often best to have systems already in place, so it doesn’t happen in the first place.
Whether its for your phone or laptop, even if it's built for cybersecurity. Defensive software is only as effective as your vigilance with electronic safety. Don’t go clicking on any shady links or connecting to public WiFi networks without any protection.