How to Know if Your Phone is Tapped

In today’s digitally connected world, the privacy of our communications is more important than ever. With rising concerns about surveillance and unauthorized access to personal information, the thought of having your phone tapped can be unsettling.

Whether through sophisticated hacking techniques or more straightforward spyware, unauthorized eavesdropping poses a real threat to personal security and privacy. This guide aims to arm you with the knowledge to identify signs of a compromised phone, ensuring that your conversations, texts, and data stay private.

Let’s jump in!

Why learn how to check if your phone is tapped?

First, it’s essential to understand why it’s crucial to know if your phone is tapped. Is it really a big deal and worth your time and effort?

The short answer is yes. If someone is listening in on your calls, reading your texts, or accessing your private data without your knowledge or consent, it can have serious consequences. According to a study by the Pew Research Center, 64% of Americans have experienced a data breach or unauthorized access to their personal information.

Unfortunately, phone tapping is becoming increasingly common and can be used for various malicious purposes:

  • Gathering sensitive information for identity theft
  • Stealing financial information for fraud
  • Gaining leverage for blackmail or extortion
  • Monitoring conversations for espionage or surveillance

Signs your phone is tapped

Now that we’ve established the importance of knowing if your phone is tapped, let’s discuss the signs to look out for. While some indicators may seem obvious, others can be more subtle and easy to overlook. Here are a few red flags that may indicate your phone has been compromised:

  • Strange or unusual noises during calls such as clicking, static, or echoes
  • Sudden changes in battery life or unusual battery drainage. In some cases, spyware can prevent your smartphone from shutting down or even turn your phone back on automatically.
  • Strange text messages, especially those containing unusual characters or symbols. These could be commands sent by the spyware to control your phone remotely.
  • Suspicious behavior from your phone, such as sudden crashes. The camera/microphone turning on randomly may indicate that someone is controlling your device remotely.
  • Unexplained data usage or charges on your phone bill.

If you experience any of these signs frequently and without a reasonable explanation, it’s worth taking steps to investigate further.

How to check for phone tapping?

If you suspect your phone may be tapped, here are some steps you can take to confirm or rule out the possibility:

  1. Conduct a physical check: start by examining your phone for any unusual changes or additions. Look for unfamiliar apps, software updates, or strange icons that could indicate spyware. You can also inspect the battery and SIM card for any damage or tampering.
  2. Monitor your phone’s behavior: keep an eye on your phone’s performance, such as battery life and data usage. If you notice significant changes without a reasonable explanation, it could be a sign of unauthorized access.
  3. Check your call forwarding history. You can do this by dialing “*#61#” or “##61” (T-Mobile and AT&T subscribers), and “*92″ or “*93″ for Verizon and US Cellular subscribers. If you see numbers that you don’t recognize, it could indicate call forwarding has been set up without your knowledge
  4. Use anti-spyware detection apps: there are various apps available that can scan your phone for spyware and other malicious software. These apps can help identify any potential threats and remove them from your device.

Some good anti-spyware apps that you can use include Lookout and Avast Mobile Security & Antivirus. These apps are available for both Android and iOS devices, and using them is as easy as downloading and running a scan.

As for checking the battery usage on your phone, you can do that from the settings menu. On an Android device, you can go to “Battery usage” to see which apps are using the most battery power on your device.

What to do if your phone is tapped?

Now let’s say you’ve confirmed that you have a tapped phone. What should you do next? Here are some steps you can take to protect yourself and your privacy:

  • Change all your passwords: Start by changing the passwords for all of your accounts, including social media, email, and financial accounts. Choose strong, unique passwords and consider using a password manager.
  • Contact your phone carrier: If you suspect your phone has been hacked, contact your phone carrier immediately. They can help you investigate and may be able to block any unauthorized activities.
  • Factory reset your device: You can also try performing a factory reset on your device to wipe out any potential spyware or malicious software. Remember to back up important data before resetting your device.
  • Install security software: Consider installing anti-spyware or security software on your device to prevent future hacks and protect your privacy.

How to prevent phone tapping?

Now that you’ve taken steps to address a potential phone-tapping situation, let’s discuss ways to prevent it from happening in the future. Here are some tips to help keep your phone and data secure:

  • Be cautious of third-party apps: only download apps from official app stores and avoid downloading apps from unknown sources. Carefully review app permissions before installing them on your device.
  • Keep your software updated: Regularly update your phone’s software and operating system. Software updates often include security patches that can help protect against potential vulnerabilities.
  • Use strong passwords and two-factor authentication: create strong, unique passwords for all of your accounts and consider enabling two-factor authentication for an extra layer of security.
  • Turn off Bluetooth and Wi-Fi when not in use: these features can be used to remotely access your device, so it’s best to turn them off when not in use.
  • Be cautious of public Wi-Fi: these networks are often unsecured and can leave your device vulnerable. Avoid accessing sensitive information while connected to these networks.

Phone tapped? Secure it with a VPN

Unfortunately, no device or system is completely secure. No matter how careful you are, there’s always a possibility of being hacked or tapped. However, using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) can make it so that even if someone is tapping your phone, they won’t be able to access any of your data.

A VPN creates a secure tunnel between your device and the internet, encrypting all data that passes through it. This prevents anyone from intercepting and accessing your information. Using a VPN on your phone can help protect your privacy and keep you safe from potential hacks or taps.

The best part is that VPNs nowadays have become readily available and easy to use. You can find a variety of VPN apps for both Android and iOS devices that offer strong encryption and other security features. Let’s take ClearVPN as an example — a fast and powerful VPN that offers high-level encryption, ad blocking, and other security features for your phone.

Getting started is easy and something that anyone can do. Simply follow these steps:

  1. Go to your phone’s app store and search for “ClearVPN“, then download and install the VPN app on your phone.
  2. Run the ClearVPN app on your phone and log in to the VPN service. You will need to sign up for a premium account to use the app (starts at $9.99 per month with a 3-day free trial), but it’s worth the investment for the added security and privacy.
  3. Once you’re logged in, tap on the connect button in the middle of the app’s interface and wait for the VPN to establish a secure connection.clearvpn iphone main and locations

At this point, all data transmitted from your phone will be encrypted and secure. Even if your phone is being tapped, the information will be useless to hackers for as long as the VPN connection is active.


Does *#21 tell you if your phone is tapped?

The code *#21# allows you to check if your phone has call forwarding features enabled, which could be misused by someone tapping your phone. However, it doesn’t definitively tell you if your phone is tapped. Note that this code can vary depending on the device and carrier. In the US, for example, the code is *#61# on AT&T or T-Mobile devices.

Is there a way to check if your phone is tapped?

While there’s no foolproof way to check if your phone is tapped, regularly checking for unauthorized apps, monitoring strange phone behavior, and using security software can help you detect and protect against phone tapping.

What happens if my phone is tapped?

A tapped phone means that someone has gained unauthorized access to your device and is potentially able to monitor your calls, texts, and other activities. This can compromise your privacy and security, so it’s important to take immediate action if you suspect your phone has been tapped. 

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