Have you ever worried that your personal and business communication is not private? Do you have a consistent feeling that your smartphone has been tapped by someone? The sad truth is that not all systems are as secure as they seem and your device immediately becomes more vulnerable to being tapped the moment you root it or jail-break it, to download third party apps that are not available on the official app store.
There are a few signs to look out for to know if you actually have a reason to worry:
You hear unusual background sounds on your phone
Watch out for any kind of a background noise when you are on talking to someone on your phone. If you hear strange background noises or pulsating static, high-pitched humming it may be a sign of your smartphone being tapped. However, strange noises can also happen because of other reasons, so it’s not a sure-shot indicator that your phone is indeed tapped. But then, if your phone makes strange sounds even when it is not being used, it is a stronger sign that it has been tapped. You can also use a sound-bandwidth sensor on a low frequency to check for any inaudible sounds. If it detects sounds several times in one minute, it is a sign that your smartphone may be tapped.
Your smartphone’s battery suddenly doesn’t last long
If your usage of your device is unchanged and still your smartphone’s battery keeps running out sooner than it earlier did, it may be because it is tapped. And by sooner, we mean your phone consistently being low on charge in spite of being charged again and again. But before you jump to any conclusions, check on your device what is it that is using up the battery. Whether you own an iPhone or an Android smartphone, you can see which apps are consuming the most battery in the Settings section. If you find nothing unusual there and your usage seems to be the same as before, you should dig in further to find out if your phone is tapped.
Your smartphone’s battery gets warmed up too quickly
Another stronger sign is your phone’s battery getting warmed up even when your device is not in use. This is because this points towards the presence of an uninvited software on your smartphone. And there are softwares available that let someone else listen to your conversations. Although high temperature of the smartphone clubbed with low power if often a sign to look out for, but check for other reasons for this happening before you panic over it.
You have difficulty shutting down your smartphone
If you feel that your smartphone has suddenly become unresponsive or you face difficulty shutting it down, it can point towards someone else having unauthorized access to it. The matter need immediate attention if you try to shut your phone down, but it fails to happen or a back-light stays on even after shutdown process has been completed. However, if you have recently installed an update in your phone, then that may be the reason behind it.
Look out for suspicious SMS messages on your smartphone
Sometimes, we ignore some activity on our phone that may actually be a sign of it being hacked. For instance, an app beginning to install on your phone on its own after your reboot it, weird SMS text messages from unknown senders and strange pop-up advertisements. In fact, weird text messages from unknown senders is a strong sign to watch out for as there are tapping apps which receive commands via coded SMS messages. If your family and friends also say that they have received weird messages from your phone, it means that your smartphone is infected and is trying to spread malware to other phones too.
Check for electronic interference when your phone is off
Electronic interference is hardly anything new. But it should only happen if you are on a phone call. If you are not using your phone and it still happens, then that is not normal. You can easily check this by placing your phone close to another electronic device like your laptop or television. If you hear any unusual sound, it can be a sign that someone is listening to your calls.
Your phone bill increases because of data usage…except you didn’t use any
Did your phone bill go up dramatically? And is data responsible for it although your usage remains unchanged? A reason behind this can be presence of spyware or other malicious apps on your phone. These apps secretly use up a lot of data, so there is a high chance you will see a dramatic jump in your mobile bill. However, do check for other reasons before you conclude. You don’t want to panic only because your child inadvertently activated the hotspot on your device.
You have apps on your phone that you didn’t install
Do look out for the apps you have on your device. We often download apps to try and at times, forget all about them. This leads to the presence of so many apps on our device, that there can be a possibility of missing out any apps that we didn’t install. Check your phone for any such apps because there is a high possibility that they would be malicious. Hummer was an app like this and infected almost 1.4 million Android devices per day in early 2016. Its presence was most prevalent in India, Russia and the Philippines.
You inadvertently downloaded a fraudulent app
If you downloaded an app which was malicious in nature, it can lead to your device being affected by Trojans. These malwares can also get root access of the device, make you download fake system updates and gain complete domination over your activities. The only way to be safe is to only download renowned apps and stay away from fake versions of popular apps like YouTube and WhatsApp.