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Like it or not, most of us have grown used to our phones being spied upon. Dystopian novels like George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four are so ingrained in our consciousness that a 2014 study found 74% of Americans surveyed said they shouldn’t give up privacy for the sake of safety.

Nonetheless, there’s a considerable argument that US citizens have given up on their own privacy, and thanks to further laws like the so-called “Snooper’s Charter” in the UK How the UK's Snooper's Charter Could Affect the Whole World How the UK's Snooper's Charter Could Affect the Whole World The Investigatory Powers Bill, better known as the "Snooper's Charter", is here. You might think it only affects the UK, but you'd be wrong. This affects everyone, across the whole world. Read More , state surveillance is increasing.

But let’s not forget that other parties can tap into your smartphone — most troublingly, hackers and extortionists, but also your employer (sometimes legally!) Here's Why Your Employer Is Allowed to Track You Here's Why Your Employer Is Allowed to Track You A US sales executive is suing her former employer after they allegedly fired her for deleting an app used to track her. Yes, your employer spies on you, but are they actually allowed to...? Read More , an ex-partner, or even, in the case of celebrities, the press! They might be listening in to your calls, reading and sending texts and emails, or altering information on your interface.

Here are just a few things to watch out for.

1. Battery Problems

Before iOS and Android caught on, battery troubles were a sign of a phone tap. Hot batteries remain a concern when it comes to smartphones.

Image Credits: Jim Bauer via Flickr.

If you’re taking full advantage of your phone, using numerous apps and consuming a lot of media, you’re probably very familiar with an overheating battery. You might’ve even gone into a phone store and enquired about it, only to be told that it’s fairly standard for smartphones. Some carriers are only concerned if you burn yourself!

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However, it can also be a sign that uninvited software is running in the background, allowing someone else to listen in.

Furthermore, be suspicious if your phone simply isn’t holding charge. Playing Pokemon Go and watching YouTube will devour your power, but if it’s consistently running low, that’s a little odd. Older handsets don’t hold charge, however, so you need to eliminate other possibilities before looking for nefarious purposes.

Equally, you need to take note what other reasons your handset might be hot: have you been sunbathing with it nearby? Have you been using lots of apps consecutively, or watching numerous videos? Is a phone case locking that heat in?

Still, high temperatures and low power can be indicative of malicious software, so you then need to look at other signs…

2. Increased Data Usage

You should be scouring your phone bills anyway, partly because having a hands-on approach to your finances can save you a lot of cash How to Use Less Data (and Save Money on Your Android Phone Bill) How to Use Less Data (and Save Money on Your Android Phone Bill) If you're using an Android phone and want to use less data to save money, these tips will help you out. Read More , but notably as a way of spotting spyware.

We know many apps vacuum up a lot of data, but it’s pretty easy to reduce what you’re using Saving Mobile Data: 5 Clever Ways To Reduce Data Usage Saving Mobile Data: 5 Clever Ways To Reduce Data Usage If you’re on a limited mobile data plan, you may find opening your bill to be harrowing experience. Is there an overage charge? How much? And why was there so much data used? While the... Read More , including connecting to free Wi-Fi offered by restaurants and stores (though that does come with risks 5 Ways Hackers Can Use Public Wi-Fi to Steal Your Identity 5 Ways Hackers Can Use Public Wi-Fi to Steal Your Identity You might love using public Wi-Fi -- but so do hackers. Here are five ways cybercriminals can access your private data and steal your identity, while you're enjoying a latte and a bagel. Read More ). Malicious software uses your data allowance too, in their case to send information its collected to an outside source. That means it’s not solely relying on your home Wi-Fi: it’ll be consuming a lot wherever you are.

Unless you’ve just downloaded a new app that requires lots of battery Avoid These iPhone Apps for Better Battery Life Avoid These iPhone Apps for Better Battery Life Killing background apps won't save your battery — in some cases you'll have to completely avoid an app in order to stop it from draining your smartphone's energy. Read More and data, or you’re allowing your children to use your device How to Child-Proof Your Android Phone How to Child-Proof Your Android Phone If you've got kids and an Android phone or tablet, you know too well that sometimes they are going to want to have a play or learn with some toddler apps. On occasion, you might... Read More while out and about, you’ll know roughly how much data you use each month. If this increases dramatically, you need to narrow down exactly why that’s happening — and if you can’t find the reason, it might that a third party is intercepting your messages.

3. Unwanted Ads and Apps

We’re overly familiar with our smartphone interfaces, so much so that it’s easy to forget you’ve downloaded an app. It can sit, unnoticed for a good 6 months or so without you realizing it’s there.

But it’s imperative that you know exactly what’s on your phone, especially the apps running in the background. If you’ve not installed them, they could be malicious.

Image Credits: Jorge Láscar via Flickr.

One such piece of malware that tampers with your cell is Hummer, a Trojan that’s infected millions of Android devices across the world. With high concentrations of affected devices in countries like India, Russia, and the Philippines, Hummer was first spotted in 2014, and over the following couple of years, has taken the title of the Android Trojan virus with the most worldwide infections.

It’s estimated that, if the virus’ creators (likely based in China) get just 50¢ per infection, they could make a profit of over $500,000 a day.

You’ll notice intrusive ads too Let's Put A Stop To Pop-Up Browser Ads Once And For All! Let's Put A Stop To Pop-Up Browser Ads Once And For All! Pop-ups can catch you off guard, and if you're not careful they can create problems. Learn how to avoid them and how to handle them if they do come up. Read More . The problem is, Hummer isn’t exactly hiding. Once installed, the virus aims to obtain root access — ie. administrative rights — to your phone or tablet, which lets it download unwanted content, and makes it incredibly difficult to get rid of. Even a Factory Reset doesn’t work.

With a daily average of 1.2 million affected devices, Hummer can generate a lot of ad traffic, so again, noticing an increase in data usage should help you spot anything dodgy going on.

4. Performance Issues

HummingBad is a similar Trojan How Android Porn Malware Steals Your Data How Android Porn Malware Steals Your Data Malicious porn clicker Trojans are masquerading as duplicate apps, waiting to infect your Android device. How prevalent are they? What happens if you download one, and most importantly, how can you avoid them? Read More , one with an estimated 10 million victims. As with Hummer, it generally finds its way onto a device when a user accidentally downloads an app that’s purporting to be something else — a fraudulent version of YouTube or WhatsApp, for instance.

Cybercriminals are making some $300,000 a month from running such apps and then promoting pop-up adverts.

The malware also gets root access (or, in some cases, tricks you into downloaded a fake systems update for complete domination of your activities), then transmits information to a server controlled by Yingmob, a group of Chinese hackers. That means that, in addition to so-called “click-fraud”, HummingBad could intercept all your messages.

But all that data being transmitted and received is likely to considerably slow your device down. It’s not isolated to HummingBad — you’ll typically suffer performance lags whatever method a cybercriminal uses to bug your phone.

Of course, real apps will take up power, but they shouldn’t noticeably affect your device’s reaction time Three Steps to Restore Your Sluggish Android's Performance Three Steps to Restore Your Sluggish Android's Performance Yes, Android devices do get slower with time - you're not imagining things. Here's why, and what you can do about it. Read More .

You can check which apps are using the most RAM. On iOS, you just need to go on Settings > General > Storage & iCloud Usage > Manage Storage. On Android, click Settings > Apps and swipe over to Running. You’ll probably see Photos & Camera and Music near the top of the list, but from here, you can properly assess your app usage, and check for anything that doesn’t ring true.

5. Strange Texts

What you might simply pass off as a nuisance, spam, or a wrong number can actually be an alert that something’s up with your smartphone.

Image Credits: Sam Saunders via Flickr.

Suspicious SMS texts will be a seemingly-randomized series of digits, characters, and symbols, which will immediately strike you as odd but perhaps not especially malicious.

Do not ignore them.

The most likely cause of this is a fault in the spyware used by cybercriminals. If it hasn’t installed properly, coded messages will appear in your inbox that would otherwise have gone unnoticed. These random data sets are instructions sent from the servers of a hacker in order to tamper with the fraudulent application. Alternatively, it could be the app trying to contact its creator.

Likewise, if any family or friends say you’re sending them bizarre texts or emails, this is a sign that your phone is compromised — and potentially that the software that’s infected your phone is trying to install on the devices of your loved ones!

Keep an eye out for any activity you don’t recognize. Look at messaging chains, social media profiles, and check your Sent and Outbox 7 Important Email Security Tips You Should Know About 7 Important Email Security Tips You Should Know About Internet security is a topic that we all know to be important, but it often sits way back in the recesses of our minds, fooling ourselves into believing that "it won’t happen to me". Whether... Read More . If you can’t remember sending something, be suspicious.

6. Websites Changing Appearances

This is a tricky one, but staying vigilant could save you getting ripped off.

Image Credits: Håkan Dahlström via Flickr.

It’s a scam we’re all familiar with, but no one’s infallible. We all forget advice, and make mistakes Make Your Browsing Safer with These 7 Simple Tips Make Your Browsing Safer with These 7 Simple Tips Safe browsing is more of an ongoing task than a set-it-and-forget-it affair. That's why we have come up with seven essential starter tips to help you browse more safely. Read More . If that mistake is clicking on a URL in a text or email, it can cost you big bucks. However, you don’t even have to be redirected to a fraudulent link through a message: if there’s a malicious app working on your phone, it might be altering the appearance of websites you frequent anyway.

The malware acts as a proxy, intercepting communications between you and the site you’re trying to visit. It might be presenting a false page to you, or simply keeping track of anything you type. And no, it doesn’t matter if you’re on Private Browsing 4 Ways You Can Be Tracked When In Private Browsing 4 Ways You Can Be Tracked When In Private Browsing Private browsing is private in 99% of cases, but there are many ways in which it can be circumvented, thanks to browser extensions and hacks. Some of them don't even need all that much work. Read More .

This really becomes a problem if you’re using a site that requires personal details, whether that’s a password, banking details, or mere Personally Identifiable Information (PII), which is a major currency on the Dark Web Here's How Much Your Identity Could Be Worth on the Dark Web Here's How Much Your Identity Could Be Worth on the Dark Web It's uncomfortable to think of yourself as a commodity, but all of your personal details, from name and address to bank account details, are worth something to online criminals. How much are you worth? Read More . PayPal, for example, is a worry; so too is mobile or online banking Could Your Mobile Banking App Be a Big Security Risk? Could Your Mobile Banking App Be a Big Security Risk? Mobile banking apps bring convenience to your phone, but could they be a security risk? Banks tend to have pretty solid data security, but how secure are their mobile apps? Read More .

You might not notice any differences, but if you do (and particularly if you’ve noticed other signs of a potential breach in your smartphone security), it could just be the website experimenting with a new interface. Compare the mobile version with that displayed on a PC, bearing in mind responsive themes will look slightly different Create a Stunningly Responsive Portfolio With One Of These Free WordPress Themes Create a Stunningly Responsive Portfolio With One Of These Free WordPress Themes These days it's not enough to have a beautifully designed website, especially if you're a photographer, artist or graphic designer. These days if your site isn't responsive, chances are you're losing a significant part of... Read More .

Worried About Your Phone?

Don’t be paranoid: most of us won’t be victim to a phone tapping.

Nonetheless, it’s worth brushing up on some security measures. Knowing which is the most secure Operating System What Is The Most Secure Mobile Operating System? What Is The Most Secure Mobile Operating System? Battling for the title of Most Secure Mobile OS, we have: Android, BlackBerry, Ubuntu, Windows Phone, and iOS. Which operating system is the best at holding its own against online attacks? Read More will help. Only downloading from official app stores will also reduce the risk, as Apple and Google screen all programs submitted before letting them become available to the masses. Similarly, you should definitely install some anti-virus software Does Your Smartphone Need Security & Antivirus Software? Does Your Smartphone Need Security & Antivirus Software? Does your Android phone need an antivirus? What about your iPad? Your BlackBerry or Windows Phone? The answer is actually a bit complicated. Let's take a look at your options. Read More .

What other signs should you watch out for? Have you ever suspected your phone communications being intercepted?

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  1. Gillian Moore
    July 5, 2017 at 7:26 pm

    I would like to know when I am to suspect that my cell phone is being tapped. Unfortunately, I did not find an answer here. Moreover, I do think that someone I know has been listening to my conversations, but I obviously have no proof.

    Your help and advise here would be highly appreciated.

    Thank you.

  2. Alabi T.O
    March 7, 2017 at 7:59 pm

    Thanks so much for your assistance in shedding light on phone tapping.

    • Robert
      June 20, 2017 at 3:23 pm

      yes several years ago. kept making unusual noises and some flashes of apps even short text flazh saying converting text to voice mail phone charge went down fast and in the end they were and came and raided me and had overv1w0 pages of taoed calls shown in courtcase.

  3. Markus
    January 16, 2017 at 11:51 pm

    If ur android is brand knew and all of a sudden u can hear people u call but they can't hear u, I think that's a sign, however I think it makes it hard for any 3rd party to listen in when u put ur phone on speaker, try it, of course walk away from listing ears, or get out the car of u with people.

  4. Manda
    December 22, 2016 at 10:16 am

    I have had myphone tapped before and I wish I had read what you had to say. The other thing my phone did when it was tapped was it kept dropping out a lot whilst I was on calls. It also sometimes refused to shut down after a call..

  5. dorothy
    December 14, 2016 at 8:16 pm

    I have been married for over 11 years now,
    me and my wife met in the church many years before we started dating,
    we had a loving relationship until my wife started acting strange
    by getting very angry over little issues,coming home very late,
    refusing to spend time with me...
    I was then introduced to some professional hackers
    who helped me hacked her phone's texts and calls so I got to understand
    what she has been going through.they offer lots of hacking services,
    website database hack, phone cloning hack, telegram hack,
    topping credit score, background checks and surveillance,
    access to social networks, school servers, icloud and much more,
    viber chats hack, Facebook messages and yahoo messenger,
    calls log and spy call recording, monitoring SMS text messages remotely,
    cell phone GPS location tracking, spy on Whatsapp Messages.
    contact them on hackdemon4 at gmail dot com. Tell them it's from dorothy

  6. Tim knows
    December 5, 2016 at 4:01 pm

    Great article

  7. Tim
    November 20, 2016 at 10:44 pm

    What do you do, if Your phone doesn't have a battery?
    Does Airplane mode work? Thanks.

  8. sky
    October 8, 2016 at 6:24 pm

    Hi Steve, Thanks for your article.

    I ran Anti Spy Mobile on my Android phone and it found no spyware. But, there is a clear nose sniffing noise whenever I talk to people. What could be the issue? What should I do? Thanks.

  9. Abraham Lincoln Salter Jr
    September 29, 2016 at 8:25 am

    I believe my phone is tapped...it's a free government phone and every time I'm calling someone, it rings and I hear a veey loud clicking sound. Sometimes I hear a teletype noise as if I'm connected to a computer and it disconnects.
    I talk a lot about government and the crooked things that's going on...such as the rfid.
    I also know they hired our president cause he is black, I was also asked to run for office back in 93'.
    It's duly cause of my name and family history with an former President...
    What can I do to stop them from tapping my calls...sincerely.
    Abraham Lincoln Salter Jr

    • Lex cooper
      January 23, 2017 at 3:17 am

      Of couese its tapped. Free government phone? Pretty much says it all

    • Lex cooper
      January 23, 2017 at 3:18 am

      Free government phone? Of course its tapped!

  10. Ellen
    August 13, 2016 at 7:21 am

    Pretty sure i am the victim of hacking , having had all my study stolen from my Apple Computer in 2015. No i did not get my Qualifications... just rotten. My Samsung phone was also hacked several times, I had to keep changing my phone number..ex psycho husband for sure.
    Its so invasive to violate someone else privacy....

    Its against the Law , but so too is lying under oath. So too is tax avoidance, he is a true criminal and I just wish the big fish would get caught, its always the little bloke that goes down and never the multi millionaires. I moved interstate and that still did not stop the hacking, the fact is i cannot have anything in my own name as I am a target ( obviously he is a full blown Psychopath). Yes they are out there and I was unlucky enough to marry one. I did not know the person I married. After years of mental torture, not so much abuse but keeping me in the dark about everything important in life....I had the guts to leave with nothing... NIL. I did have debts. He paid nothing, he game me nil and treated me like a door mat. Thank God I had the sense to run. I hid in a secret location until it was safe enough to move to an outer areas and stayed there hidden for 2 years till moving interstate. I am over 50 now. Never again will I ever trust any man. Never again will i be the door mat. Never again will i bother with anyone that is very secretive. ( If they are secretive , they are definitely hiding something). HE had it all planned, shut up shop, go bankrupt and hide everything overseas, WITHOUT ME.

    I am broke still but at least I do not have the psychopath living with me. I divorced him and paid for that too, he paid nothing, did nothing except evade the law. 2 years in court did nothing for me, you do not get anything from a Bankrupt. My advice, ACT FAST.SEE A LAWYER immediately and do not wait too long. NEVER GO BACK.. as you may end up a Statistic , another woman dead. Horrid but this is all true.

    Tell no one where you are or what you are doing, that is my advice.. they hunt you down so beware...I am in .Australia , one woman dies a week from psycho partners.
    My life is quiet, no secrets any more.......

  11. Erin
    April 5, 2016 at 9:31 pm

    Looking back, I'm pretty sure my now ex husband tapped a cell phone of mine before we split up. Our marriage was going down the toilet fast, all because he was suspicious that I was cheating on him. I had gotten laid off in 2009, right at the beginning of the bad recession, couldn't find work at all so I decided to go to college and attempt to get a degree. For whatever reason, he got it in his head that the only reason I was going to school was to meet other men...he had been diagnosed with MS and was disabled so his insecurities were running severely high. I wasn't doing anything at all to perpetuate his insecure suspicious other than voicing my desire to lose weight. I was at an unhealthy 220 lbs and with an almost 4 year old child at the time, I wanted to be in better shape so I could be a better mother.

    As time went on, he became increasingly insecure as the pounds melted off and I started noticing that my phone would do strange things. The first issue was the battery not keeping a charge. I didn't think much of it, just replaced the battery. Then, it was my phone being hot constantly, even when not in use. At one point, I got a warning notification regarding the temperature, never in my life have I seen that before. What really sent me over the edge, was one time I was talking to my best friend on the phone, can't recall the exactly what was said verbatim but I had mentioned that I thought one of my professors was kinda cute. My then husband was not with me at the time, I was talking to her while I was on break at school. Later that week, my then husband mentioned something in a snarky manner about that particular professor. I didn't say anything then, but I wish I did now or had concrete proof of him tampering with my phone. The divorce probably would have gone a different way.

  12. ceecee
    February 27, 2016 at 9:38 am

    Well my battery is embedded in my phone so is it better to get a new # or a whole new phone

  13. erin
    February 3, 2016 at 4:48 pm

    So what is the number you can check if you phone us tapped like in the preview of this article im in australia

    • Nora
      February 5, 2017 at 6:49 pm

      Dial *#06#. If your imei appears with a slash "/" and or followed by another digit, then it is tapped e.g
      031256734789/..(it is tapped)
      03125674788 (untapped)

  14. Traveler
    December 9, 2015 at 4:35 pm

    Regarding "Yo" in Mexico, I live in Mexico for about half of the year. I found this to be true, I went to a pro baseball game in Coahuila in 2009. A young, tall, well-dressed fellow asked to use my phone, and I found myself being accompanied on every bus ride I ever took after that, by what I perceived to be law enforcement or informants. They would always start conversations with me, they always would interfere with my ride in some way. As far as my phones are concerned, I have three smart phones and two old simple phones. One other way to test is to turn an FM radio on, put your phone near it, if you hear digital transmission activity, you most probably have an FBI CIPAV virus installed and operating on your phone. Though they're still in use, CIPAV viruses are old hat, there are a dozen newer versions of microphone eavesdropping out there. Copy this comment because every time I post anywhere about CIPAV, the comment disappears within a week. As phones develop, so does government and military ability to eavesdrop on both voice and data. In 2007, I took a trip to China, I was given a cell phone to use by my host. I know it was tapped. The technology on that Nokia phone was 10 years ahead of any phone available in the USA and still some of it is not available even yet. So, it's safe to say that eavesdropping technology is ten years or more ahead of existing cell phone technology, that modern cell phone technology is tailored to accommodate future use of eavesdropping capabilities that are already in existence. From the time of the writing of this article until now, many events have been revealed about US national security eavesdropping. I knew for years what people were being shocked into finding out in the news. What better way to monitor people than to use a device that they carry with them every moment?

  15. Yo
    November 12, 2015 at 4:40 pm

    What if the very same police is that one listening to your conversations? here (Mexico), to track someone´s phone, listening to their conversations has become one of the most usual activities of the -very corrupt- police, so, activists, social leaders, non-government-aligned journalists and "uncomfortable" persons (to those wielding the power) are being spied daily, so, they know what you do and where you do it, what you talk about and who you talk to, are being recorded, and am not overstating, journalists have been killed few months after revealing reports that shed light on the dirty activities of governors, how they did know where they were? audio recordings from "uncomfortable" persons are being released to politicians and aligned media every day, so, if you have something to hide, it is not longer hidden, because you are exposed and/or black mailed; so it would be very helpful to know when someone you don´t want listen to your conversations are actually listening, thanx i.a.

  16. christy
    April 29, 2015 at 8:02 pm

    my husband tapped my phone logs, not the voice conversation.... I don't think he did anyway. He has been able to access my emails, as well as view all my photos and photos mms to me. Its such crap.

  17. Dave
    April 6, 2015 at 7:20 pm

    Quick question, I have a Windows Phone a Nokia 1520 that my wife got me for my birthday 2 years ago. Since then it broke twice so i had to get them replaced. Well because she got the phone for me she had it send to her work instead of our home address but both times that she gave me the phones, the package was opened up. I thought nothing of it at first due to it being a gift in all. Now we had are up and downs in our relationship but she is the kind of person that like to be in control of everything. She has been married once before and it didn't work out for them cause he cheated on her. I'm here wondering to myself what if she put some kinda spy program on my phone. I ask her if she trust me and she tells me yes but her actions tells me no. My question is (sorry for the long details) How do i go about checking my cell phone to see if it's being tap? I do hear echo sound on my conversations. I do have a battery that gets hot even when it was new. Also there is that delay when i try to shut it off. I don't know maybe It's all in my mind or maybe not. What do you think? (my bad that is two questions)

  18. SpookedR8R
    March 22, 2015 at 7:39 am

    Today, for the first time ever, i was on a call in which i was the dialer. During this call there were 2 brief noises very loud that sounded exactly like how it sounds when connecting to dial up internet. The person on the other end of the call heard nothing. I wasnt near any other electrical equipment besides a lamp. My phone has also been doing weird, unusual, funky, and unexplainable stuff. Either its tapped, or im being haunted. Nobody else has access or ever touches my phone, and its only 2 months old. Im also in a new city and state, so nobody here has any reason to spy on me since nobody even knows who i am... what do i do?

    • Anonymous
      April 23, 2015 at 7:48 pm

      I have the something going on with my iPhone only I hear the sound on my phone

  19. Shano
    March 11, 2015 at 5:02 pm

    we have the same situationwith one of my friend mobile phone ,someone always tapped his cal even his whatsapp ,when ever he used to call me i also hear the background noises .we always discussed what is happening with us .one day an idea came to my mind i just research when i read you noow we are confrmed that someone doing this to us .now we have to change the mbile and sim card.thankx for your thoughts

  20. roxy
    March 5, 2015 at 3:36 pm

    wow this is interested now I think my phone is bug due to having my grandaughter . my phone will freeze after I talk to her or my sister and also it won't cut off and then when I take the battery out it takes a few mins or longer to come on. the page goes white for a long time and I have left it on to see what happens and nothing. sometimes when talking to my sister like yesterday it was so muffler that she had to hang up and go talk to me in a land line and a different house. she tried to call me back later and my phone was froze and she couldn't get threw. she had to call someone to come tell me to turn my phone on and it was froze. this is crazy and thanks to all the information.

  21. I'm very worried
    January 25, 2015 at 12:31 pm

    For the part Hear The Buzz, I don't get which buzzes he's saying to worry about about and not to worry about. Because sometimes at random times my radio does buzzes like the second time. I think my phone is tapped because
    1. Battery drains extremely fast. Device doesn't get hot though, also might be I have wifi and many notifications too.
    2. When my phone is locked (not completely off), the lock screen turns on without a notification which is not normal. The lock screen turns on when there is a notification which is normal.
    3. The random buzzing (very rare). It does the second time he put his phone near the speaker.
    iPhone 5C

  22. Rach
    January 17, 2015 at 11:30 pm

    Type in 2014-12-12 apps background active reason. It should come up with Al girl me. Tell mr what you think it won't let me copy here

  23. Aibek
    July 22, 2010 at 10:48 pm

    Hi,

    I find the Questions 2 and 3 rather interesting and think some of the
    MUO readers can definitely give you an answer to them. Why don't you
    post those as individual questions on MakeUseOf Answers?

    http://www.makeuseof.com/answe...

    Aibek

  24. Luisse Mitchell
    July 22, 2010 at 8:12 pm

    Sounds like good advice. There are TSCM (Technical Surveillance Countermeasures) devices offered out there as well as people who has the expertise if experts are needed.

    http://www.sweepteam.com

  25. Genus One
    July 22, 2010 at 8:51 am

    My girlfriend and I had our phone calls illegally recorded and played for police about an incident that I wont go into much detail about, but the jest of it was basically she borrowed an item to pawn to get gas money to look for work ($15).. was wrongfully charged (cost us $200 in the end). It was later dropped, when I explained to her parents that what her stepfather had done (and had been doing for a long time) was a felony. It was also illegal for the cops to even listen to the recordings, I wanted so badly to bring a civil suit against the police, and her step-dad. When we spoke to a lawyer he wanted her case very badly, since he knew it was a strong one, and it is still on her record. Making it even harder for her to get a job..she lost 4 prospective employments because of her dick of a dad! It costs $380 to have it expunged, law is about money and not much about justice anymore!
    Hope this info will help some of you that have been violated as well, no one has the right to listen to or record your phone calls, even if they pay the bill or if its their house, unless there is 2 party consent. These laws listed are for the state of SC, but apply to all... just google your State!

    SECTION 17-30-20. Prohibited acts. [SC ST SEC 17-30-20]

    Except as otherwise specifically provided in this chapter, a person who commits any of the following acts is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, must be punished as provided in Section 17-30-50 of this chapter:

    (1) intentionally intercepts, attempts to intercept, or procures any other person to intercept or attempt to intercept any wire, oral, or electronic communication;

    (2) intentionally uses, attempts to use, or procures any other person to use or attempt to use any electronic, mechanical, or other device to intercept any oral communication when:

    (a) the device is affixed to or otherwise transmits a signal through a wire, cable, or other like connection used in wire communication; or

    (b) the device transmits communications by radio or interferes with the transmission of the communication;

    (3) intentionally discloses or attempts to disclose to any other person the contents of any wire, oral, or electronic communication, knowing or having reason to know that the information was obtained through the interception of a wire, oral, or electronic communication in violation of this subsection;

    (4) intentionally uses or attempts to use the contents of any wire, oral, or electronic communication, knowing or having reason to know that the information was obtained through the interception of a wire, oral, or electronic communication in violation of this subsection; or

    (5) intentionally discloses or attempts to disclose to any other person the contents of any wire, oral, or electronic communication intercepted by means authorized by Section 17-30-70 or Section 17-30-95 when that person knows or has reason to know that the information was obtained through the interception of such a communication in connection with a criminal investigation and the disclosure is not otherwise authorized under this chapter.

    SECTION 17-30-50. Penalty for violating §§ 17-30-20 through 17-30-45. [SC ST SEC 17-30-50]

    (A) Except as provided in subsection (B), whoever violates the provisions of Sections 17-30-20 through 17-30-45, upon conviction, must be imprisoned not more than five years or fined not more than five thousand dollars, or both.

    (B) If the offense is a first offense under this chapter and is not for any unlawful purpose or for purposes of direct or indirect commercial advantage or private commercial gain, and the wire or electronic communication with respect to which the offense under this chapter was committed is a radio communication that is not scrambled, encrypted, or transmitted using modulation techniques the essential parameters of which have been withheld from the public with the intention of preserving the privacy of the communication, then:

    (1) if the communication is not the radio portion of a cellular telephone communication, a cordless telephone communication that is transmitted between the cordless telephone handset and the base unit, a public land mobile radio service communication, or a paging service communication, and the conduct is not that described in Section 17-30-35(7), the person committing the offense is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be imprisoned not more than one year or fined not more than one thousand dollars, or both;

    (2) if the communication is the radio portion of a cellular telephone communication, a cordless telephone communication that is transmitted between the cordless telephone handset and the base unit, a public land mobile radio service communication, or a paging service communication, the person committing the offense is guilty of a misdemeanor, and must, upon conviction, be fined not more than one thousand dollars for each violation.
    SECTION 17-30-60. Seizure and forfeiture. [SC ST SEC 17-30-60]

    Any electronic, mechanical, or other device used, sent, carried, manufactured, assembled, possessed, or sold in violation of this chapter may be seized and forfeited to the State.

    SECTION 17-30-65. Admissibility of contents of, or evidence derived from, intercepted communications; contents as public record. [SC ST SEC 17-30-65]

    (A) Whenever any wire, oral, or electronic communication has been intercepted, no part of the contents of the communication and no evidence derived therefrom may be received in evidence in any trial, hearing, or other proceeding in or before any court, grand jury, department, officer, agency, regulatory body, legislative committee, or other authority of the State, or a political subdivision thereof, if the disclosure of that information would be in violation of this chapter. The prohibition of use as evidence provided in this section does not apply in cases of prosecution for criminal interception in violation of the provisions of this chapter.

    (B) The contents of any wire, oral, or electronic communication intercepted pursuant to this chapter and the contents of any application for an order and an order of authorization issued pursuant to this chapter are not included in the definition of a public record contained in Section 30-4-20(c), and may only be disclosed in a manner provided by this chapter.

    SECTION 17-30-65. Admissibility of contents of, or evidence derived from, intercepted communications; contents as public record. [SC ST SEC 17-30-65]

    (A) Whenever any wire, oral, or electronic communication has been intercepted, no part of the contents of the communication and no evidence derived therefrom may be received in evidence in any trial, hearing, or other proceeding in or before any court, grand jury, department, officer, agency, regulatory body, legislative committee, or other authority of the State, or a political subdivision thereof, if the disclosure of that information would be in violation of this chapter. The prohibition of use as evidence provided in this section does not apply in cases of prosecution for criminal interception in violation of the provisions of this chapter.

    (B) The contents of any wire, oral, or electronic communication intercepted pursuant to this chapter and the contents of any application for an order and an order of authorization issued pursuant to this chapter are not included in the definition of a public record contained in Section 30-4-20(c), and may only be disclosed in a manner provided by this chapter.

    SECTION 17-30-75. Disclosure of content of intercepted communication. [SC ST SEC 17-30-75]

    (A) Any SLED agent who, by any means authorized by this chapter, has obtained knowledge of the contents of any wire, oral, or electronic communication or evidence derived from it may disclose the contents to an attorney authorized by law to investigate and institute any action on behalf of the State of South Carolina or political subdivision of the State, or to another SLED agent, investigative, or law enforcement officer to the extent that the disclosure is appropriate to the proper performance of the official duties of the officer or person making or receiving the disclosure.

    (B) Any SLED agent, investigative, or law enforcement officer who, by any means authorized by this chapter, has obtained knowledge of the contents of any wire, oral, or electronic communication or evidence derived from it may use the contents to the extent the use is appropriate to the proper performance of his official duties.
    (C) Any person who has received, by any means authorized by this chapter, or by the laws of any other state or the United States, any information concerning a wire, oral, or electronic communication or evidence derived from it, intercepted in accordance with the provisions of this chapter, may disclose the contents of that communication or the derivative evidence while giving testimony under oath or affirmation in any criminal proceeding in any court of the State or of the United States or in any grand jury proceedings.

    (D) No otherwise privileged wire, oral, or electronic communication intercepted in accordance with or in violation of the provisions of this chapter loses its privileged character.

    (E) When a SLED agent, while engaged in intercepting wire, oral, or electronic communications in the manner authorized by this chapter, intercepts wire, oral, or electronic communications relating to offenses other than those specified in the order of authorization or approval, the contents thereof and evidence derived from it may be disclosed or used as provided in subsections (A) and (B). The contents and any evidence derived from it may be used under subsection (C) when authorized or approved by a judge of competent jurisdiction when the judge finds on subsequent application that the contents were otherwise intercepted in accordance with the provisions of this chapter. The application must be made as soon as practicable.

    SECTION 17-30-130. Reporting intercepted communications. [SC ST SEC 17-30-130]

    Any intercepted wire, oral, or electronic communication must be reported to the Administrative Office of the United States Courts as outlined in 18 U.S.C. Section 2519.

    SECTION 17-30-135. Civil action for wrongful interceptions. [SC ST SEC 17-30-135]

    (A) Any person whose wire, oral, or electronic communication is intercepted, disclosed, or used in violation of this chapter has a civil cause of action against any person or entity who intercepts, discloses, or uses, or procures any other person or entity to intercept, disclose, or use the communications and is entitled to recover from the person or entity which engaged in that violation relief as may be appropriate, including:

    (1) preliminary or equitable or declaratory relief as may be appropriate;

    (2) actual damages, but not less than liquidated damages computed at the rate of five hundred dollars a day for each day of violation or twenty-five thousand dollars, whichever is greater, not to exceed the limits on liability provided in subsection (F)(3);

    (3) punitive damages, except as may be prohibited in subsection (F)(4); and

    (4) a reasonable attorney's fee and other litigation costs reasonably incurred. (B) A good faith reliance on a court order, subpoena, or a request of an agent of the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division under Section 17-30-95 constitutes a complete defense to any civil, criminal, or administrative action, other than an action for preliminary or equitable or declaratory relief.

    (C) A civil action under this section may not be commenced later than five years after the date upon which the claimant first has a reasonable opportunity to discover the violation, except as provided in subsection (F)(2).

    (D) Any person whose wire, oral, or electronic communication is intercepted, disclosed, or used in violation of this chapter is entitled to a jury trial.

    (E) An investigative or law enforcement officer or governmental entity who wilfully discloses or wilfully uses information beyond the extent permitted by law is in violation of this chapter and subject to a civil cause of action and criminal penalties as provided in this chapter.

    (F)(1) Any civil cause of action for damages authorized in subsection (A) and brought against the State, an agency, a political subdivision, or a governmental entity and its employee acting within the scope of his official duty must be brought pursuant to the South Carolina Tort Claims Act, Chapter 78, Title 15. For purposes of the Tort Claims Act, an action authorized in subsection (A) and brought against the State, an agency, a political subdivision, or a governmental entity and its employee acting within the scope of his official duty is a tort within the meaning of the Act.

    (2) In any action authorized in subsection (A) and brought against the State, an agency, a political subdivision, or a governmental entity and its employee acting within the scope of his official duty, the provisions in the Tort Claims Act regarding the statute of limitations provided in Section 15-78-110 shall apply in lieu of subsection (C) of this section.

    (E) An investigative or law enforcement officer or governmental entity who wilfully discloses or wilfully uses information beyond the extent permitted by law is in violation of this chapter and subject to a civil cause of action and criminal penalties as provided in this chapter.

  26. lonesome pearl
    July 9, 2010 at 8:09 pm

    Any knowledge about odd phone numbers? I've gotten calls on my cell phone with the caller i.d. showing "000-000-0000". If I don't answer, it hangs up when my voicemail picks up; when I do, nobody's there (big surprise). I get similar calls on my land line, but the caller i.d. shows "000-012-3456". Wtf???

    • Steve Campbell
      July 12, 2010 at 4:19 am

      Very strange. You could be getting pranked, or it could be telemarketers/sales calls. You can probably contact your phone company to find out.

      • Genus One
        July 22, 2010 at 6:05 am

        I liked your article and have read some similar red flag indicators online as well. So Here we go; I use my friends business land-line local number that was ported into a cell phone. He is going through a divorce and I recently found a GPS tracker unit that fell from beneath his car while at his shop.. so we know for a fact that his soon to be ex-wife has a PI monitoring him (she believes he has a drug habit, and is cheating, to which both accusations are absurd!haha). QUESTION(1): Can a P.I. (or Police)tap these types of ported lines (business esp.), and if so, do the same or different indicators apply? QUESTION(2): Every now and then(most recently tonight), late around midnight esp., I've received calls from a restricted number that when I answer; it beeps like an answering machine has begun recording. Could that mean anything? QUESTION(3): Ive heard a long time ago that when police are tapping your phone, there is a # to call, and if it rings busy..your line is being monitored..urban legend? Sucks I cant remember that number, cuz I mean it couldn't hurt,ya know!Lmao! If you could help me out with these queries, that would be awesome! And if not, maybe you have some other trusted+technical websites on this type of info you could point me towards? Thanks Steve, and sorry this was so long! Its why I labeled the questions! lol

        • Steve Campbell
          July 22, 2010 at 6:11 am

          Wow. I'll be honest, I don't have any idea what to tell you. It seems like you are in a truly unique situation here to say the least. Maybe you could direct your questions to our answer boards, as well as any other technical forums so that the internet's masses can take a crack at it. I'm sure you'll get some interesting answers, some of which I hope helps you!

        • Genus One
          July 22, 2010 at 6:50 am

          Thanks anyway man! Im trying to post some laws via a comments on here, to help others about illegal intercepts of private conversations.

        • Aibek
          July 22, 2010 at 8:48 pm

          Hi,

          I find the Questions 2 and 3 rather interesting and think some of the
          MUO readers can definitely give you an answer to them. Why don't you
          post those as individual questions on MakeUseOf Answers?

          http://www.makeuseof.com/answers/

          Aibek

  27. yuregininsesi
    June 24, 2010 at 11:51 pm

    I'm personally aware of all those mobile spying software and services that litter the web like everybody's business. It's like for every suspicious spouse, friend or boss, there's a dozen different applications that makes snooping almost a right-to-know. I wonder where's the love these days

  28. Skipp Porteous
    June 10, 2010 at 1:47 pm

    Spyware is an increasing threat as cell phones become smarter.

    Cell phones transmit at around 900 MHz or 1800 Mhz, so they would naturally disturb other devices. To think that other hardware is installed on your phone is almot impossible. Cell phones are too small -- they have too much stuff packed into them.

    I know of no police departments that have the equipment to tell if your cell phone is bugged. In fact, police departments don't even care.

    Planting disinformation is a real good idea because there is no way you can tell who put spyware on your cell phone, unless they run off with the disinformation you talked about on your phone.

  29. Skipp Porteous
    June 10, 2010 at 11:47 am

    Spyware is an increasing threat as cell phones become smarter.

    Cell phones transmit at around 900 MHz or 1800 Mhz, so they would naturally disturb other devices. To think that other hardware is installed on your phone is almot impossible. Cell phones are too small -- they have too much stuff packed into them.

    I know of no police departments that have the equipment to tell if your cell phone is bugged. In fact, police departments don't even care.

    Planting disinformation is a real good idea because there is no way you can tell who put spyware on your cell phone, unless they run off with the disinformation you talked about on your phone.

  30. oOfmanOo
    June 9, 2010 at 5:44 pm

    Most of the types of phone tap hacks need you to install an app. So only then they can tap you. But you also have bluetooth hacks which don't need an app install on the target phone. Worse you don't even have to first approve the bluetooth connection.Although this more dangerous it just works on a few phones with a specific firmware. Mostly called bluehack or bluejack.

    But most annoying tapping are portable IMSI catcher they use the man-in-the-middle attack. It works by emitting a strong reception signal leading mobile phones to believe it offers the best quality connection but in fact completely removing any security and privacy of the phone conversation. more info: http://www.phonecrypt.com/phon...

  31. Anonymous
    June 9, 2010 at 3:44 pm

    Most of the types of phone tap hacks need you to install an app. So only then they can tap you. But you also have bluetooth hacks which don't need an app install on the target phone. Worse you don't even have to first approve the bluetooth connection.Although this more dangerous it just works on a few phones with a specific firmware. Mostly called bluehack or bluejack.

    But most annoying tapping are portable IMSI catcher they use the man-in-the-middle attack. It works by emitting a strong reception signal leading mobile phones to believe it offers the best quality connection but in fact completely removing any security and privacy of the phone conversation. more info: http://www.phonecrypt.com/phone_interceptions.php

  32. micro sd card
    June 9, 2010 at 9:31 am

    I personally am all about mobile spy software and services that litter the web like everyone's business. It all suspicious spouse, friend or boss is like to, there's a dozen different applications that creates a right to know snooping-around.

  33. Nat Jay
    June 9, 2010 at 5:01 am

    I'm personally aware of all those mobile spying software and services that litter the web like everybody's business. It's like for every suspicious spouse, friend or boss, there's a dozen different applications that makes snooping almost a right-to-know. I wonder where's the love these days... LOL

    • Steve Campbell
      June 9, 2010 at 5:29 am

      I agree wholeheartedly. Where's the love?

  34. Primax
    June 8, 2010 at 11:20 pm

    You forgot the tinfoil hat.

    • Steve Campbell
      June 8, 2010 at 11:51 pm

      haha you're right!

  35. xoxor
    June 9, 2010 at 12:01 am

    This is very real - do a Google on Flexispy for starters....I really had to educate myself when it happened to me and could just about knock out an article.

    I won't go into a lot of detail as to how and why but suffice it to say *never* leave your cell phone unattended. Although it is not as relevant now as when it happened, I'd suggest keeping an eye on your data usage too. Review credit cards and bank statements for charges that you may not recognize.

    I noticed my phone acting slightly funky but until someone told me that my phone was bugged I didn't even know these types of applications existed. Fortunately the app had only been installed for a few days....I ended up doing a complete hard reset to remove it and even then I wasn't so sure it was gone so I ended up just getting another phone.

    From my standpoint the invasion of my privacy was the most damaging aspect of the whole experience.

  36. Anonymous
    June 8, 2010 at 10:01 pm

    This is very real - do a Google on Flexispy for starters....I really had to educate myself when it happened to me and could just about knock out an article.

    I won't go into a lot of detail as to how and why but suffice it to say *never* leave your cell phone unattended. Although it is not as relevant now as when it happened, I'd suggest keeping an eye on your data usage too. Review credit cards and bank statements for charges that you may not recognize.

    I noticed my phone acting slightly funky but until someone told me that my phone was bugged I didn't even know these types of applications existed. Fortunately the app had only been installed for a few days....I ended up doing a complete hard reset to remove it and even then I wasn't so sure it was gone so I ended up just getting another phone.

    From my standpoint the invasion of my privacy was the most damaging aspect of the whole experience.

    • Steve Campbell
      June 8, 2010 at 10:09 pm

      Thanks for sharing your story. It's a scary thought when you see evidence of it happening to someone in real life.

  37. Steve Campbell
    June 8, 2010 at 11:32 pm

    ankit,

    As I stated in the article a couple times, your chances of your phone being tapped are very slim. I like to write challenging articles from time to time and this is a possible threat to some who might find the advice useful...or not, but oh well :)

    • nada malaj
      March 28, 2015 at 4:39 am

      is it true that if u press star 6 hash call then it shows the phone code. my friend said there's supposed to be15 number in the cide n my code is different so irs tapped. my messages deleat them selves and something has more control over my phone than me. hiw do i make it stop? my phone also converts some of my text to chinese after i write n send em in english.

  38. ankit
    June 8, 2010 at 8:18 pm

    is this article for real ?!

    • Steve Campbell
      June 8, 2010 at 9:32 pm

      ankit,

      As I stated in the article a couple times, your chances of your phone being tapped are very slim. I like to write challenging articles from time to time and this is a possible threat to some who might find the advice useful...or not, but oh well :)