How to Tell If Your Phone is Tapped

How to Tell If Your Phone is Tapped

Can Android phones be tapped? Unfortunately, the answer is a giant Yes! Latest technologies have unlimited opportunities and Android phones are not an exception. Hackers can intrude into your cell phones and monitor all of your activities, even steal them. Why not? Not only hackers maybe your loved ones can tap your Android phones to spy on your social media activities. Nevertheless, you will not appreciate this activity at any cost. If you want to know how to check if your phone is being tapped, you need not spend your money on a tech professional. You can find it on your own. If you wonder how to tell if your phone is tapped, this guide will help you for sure. In this article, you will see how to tell if your cell phone is being spied on and what to do if your phone is being tapped. So, what are you waiting for? Continue reading the guide.

How to Tell If Your Phone is Tapped

How to Tell If Your Phone is Tapped

Here are various symptoms, when you notice the same in your Android device, it indicates your phone is tapped. So, if you face the following same symptoms, move ahead to the next section to fix the same.

Note: Since smartphones don’t have the same Settings options, and they vary from manufacturer to manufacturer hence, ensure the correct settings before changing any. The said steps were performed on the Redmi phone.

1. Phone Auto Restarts

If your device auto restarts, make sure to keep in mind the following points to check if your phone is being tapped.

  • When your Android phone is tapped, your device may restart automatically even when it is idle.
  • Sometimes, when you touch your screen for usual activities, Android restarts unintentionally.
  • Another simple symptom is it takes a very long time to restart or turn off your Android. Whenever you restart your mobile phone, all the active processes will be closed. Due to spyware, some invisible tasks will be running in the background. These tasks take additional time to turn off your mobile.

So, if you notice unusual auto restarts, check if everything is okay with your privacy and security.

2. Unusual Noise

Also if there is unusual noise in your device then this also indicates your phone is tapped. Keep the following points in mind.

  • When you are in an audio call or video call, if you hear any unusual background noise, this is something serious to consider and sort out.
  • So, if you wonder how to check if your phone is being tapped, just note down if you hear any humming, high-pitched sound, beeping noise, clicking sound, or another static sound, these are more than enough to confirm that your mobile is being tapped.

3. Phone Shows Activities when Idle

If your phone shows activities when idle, then this also tells if your cell phone is being spied on. As discussed earlier, when your phone makes any noise or lightens up even when your phone is idle, don’t worry about how to tell if your cell phone is being spied on. This is a common symptom that confirms this question. Also, make sure to keep the given points in mind.

  • It is possible that a sudden lag or stutter indicates the presence of spyware and so your phone may discharge quickly.
  • This may be because hackers perform remote activities on your mobile and voluntarily brings out some malicious advertisements and links that provoke you to open harmful content. As soon as you open them, any fraudulent software will be installed on your device contributing to the problem.

4. Battery Drains Very Soon

If your Android phone is infected with any spyware or ransomware, your phone battery drains out very soon. You may also feel hot when you touch the phone battery and phone case. Spyware eats lots of resources in your Android device and thus many programs run in the background. This causes a drain on battery resources and makes it discharge very quickly.

You can monitor all the activities of your Android phone by navigating to Settings as follows. If you find unusual battery usage, then this indicates your phone is tapped.

1. Tap the Settings icon on your Home Screen.

Tap the Settings icon on your Home Screen. How to Tell If Your Phone is Tapped

2. Then, scroll down and tap the Battery option as shown.

3. On the next screen, you can see Battery usage and Battery Saver details.

Battery usage and Battery Saver details

4. Scroll down the screen and monitor the Battery usage details in terms of apps and programs. 

Battery usage details in terms of apps and programs. How to Tell If Your Phone is Tapped

Check if any unknown software is draining your battery. If so, then it indicates your phone is tapped.

5. Receive Random Calls & Messages

If you do not know how to tell if your phone is tapped, there is another simple way to find this out only by monitoring incoming calls and messages.

  • If you are receiving calls or random messages having inappropriate numbers, characters, or symbols, then it indicates that spyware has intruded into your mobile.
  • Hackers may send encrypted code containing numbers and mixed characters to your Android phone, to check if their spyware works well. So, next time when you open a message or attend a call with suspicious content, you have to double-check your phone if there are harmful apps in it.

6. Fake Apps Installed on Device

There is another easiest way to understand how to check if your phone is being tapped. Just check if there is any unknown app installed on your device. Several malicious apps may be installed on your device without your information and approval. This happens when you open and proceed with any online ads and links.

1. Launch the Settings app.

Launch the Settings app

2. Now, tap on Apps.

tap on Apps. How to Tell If Your Phone is Tapped

3. Then, tap on Manage apps and then scroll down the available list of apps and programs on your device.

Manage apps

4. If you find any suspicious apps, tap on the respective app and then tap Uninstall.

Uninstall app. How to Tell If Your Phone is Tapped

Make sure you follow the steps to delete some common spying applications like mSpy, XNspy, FlexiSpy, etc.

7. High Data Usage

Another simple way how to tell if your cell phone is being spied on is by monitoring the data usage. Suddenly you may find your data pack has expired very soon even if you haven’t used it more. Consequently, you may get high phone bills. Any malicious applications or software installed on your Android will monitor all of your resources only by using your internet data. So, if you guess that your Android is being monitored, you can verify the data usage in your Android by following the below-listed instructions. This will also help you to check if your phone is being tapped.

1. Tap the Settings icon on your Home Screen.

Tap the Settings icon on your Home Screen

2. Then, tap the Connection & sharing option as shown.

tap the Connection sharing option. How to Tell If Your Phone is Tapped

3. Now, tap Data usage.

tap Data usage

4. On the next screen, you can monitor the data usage of apps and settings. 

data usage

Check if any malicious apps are consuming more data. If so, delete them (if you do not want them) as instructed in the above method.

8. Moving Icons

How to tell if your phone is tapped only by monitoring the app icons? It is possible by analysing whether the app icons are stationary and not moving at any instant.

  • Ensure that the app icons in notification bars are not moving.
  • If the apps rotate, blink, vanish or delete on their own, this indicates that your apps and settings are being controlled by a remote device.

9. Electronic Interference Sounds

This is a rare symptom of how to check if your phone is being tapped which confirms the presence of spyware on your device. Usually, your mobile phone must not interfere with any other electronic device like a laptop, mike, telephone, smart devices, etc. Unless you are on call, you must not get any interference on your Android. Here are a few steps to check electronic interference sounds.

  • Place your Android near any other electronic device.
  • Check if you hear some unusual sounds or static noise. If you hear them, this indicates that some stranger is listening to your privacy.

10. Camera & Mic is Out of Your Control

Someone could be watching your body or hearing your voice when they have full control of the camera and mic of your phone. Yet you need not wonder how to tell if your cell phone is being spied on only by a camera. Here are a few steps to identify the culprit.

  • When your camera is on, you can see a dot of light near your camera. This may differ according to the version of mobile you use. For Android 12 and later, a green light will be spotted next to your camera if it is active in any way.
  • Yet, nowadays hackers have sorted out an algorithm to use your camera and microphone without any symptoms. You have to always be cautious while using your mobile in this case.

11. Unusual Browsing Activities

You can monitor your browsing activities and histories easily on your Android phone. Unusual browsing activities can help you to check if your phone is being tapped. Regardless of the different browsers you use, you should check the browsing activities of all of your browsers on your mobile and make sure there are no irrelevant search items in your browser history. Here are a few steps regarding the same.

Note: Here, Google Chrome is taken as an example. Follow the steps according to your browser.

1. Navigate to Google Chrome on the Home screen and tap on it.

Navigate to Google Chrome on the Home screen and tap on it. How to Tell If Your Phone is Tapped

2. Now, tap the three-dotted icon at the top right corner of the screen, followed by History as shown.

tap on chrome history. How to Tell If Your Phone is Tapped

3. On the next screen, you can monitor the search activities

monitor the search activities

If any unusual search activities are not performed by you, check if your friends have done it. If not, then it indicates that your phone is tapped.

12. Dial Certain Numbers

You can also dial a few numbers to get to know how to check if your phone is being tapped. If your phone calls, data, and text messages are diverted without any reason, this is strange and you have to stop it as soon as possible. Here are a few numbers that when dialed up, you’ll get to know the status of a few phone settings.

1. Dial *#21# or *#62# in your device and check whether you get the following Carrier info.

Dial Certain Numbers. How to Tell If Your Phone is Tapped

2. If you receive the same Carrier info, this indicates your calls are not forwarded or heard out anywhere.

Sync: Not forwarded
Packet: Not forwarded

carrier info. How to Tell If Your Phone is Tapped

3. Then dial *#67# to find the calls and messages that are being forwarded to another line.

Dial certain numbers

4A. If you get a Connection problem or invalid MMI code as a prompt, it indicates no calls/messages are being forwarded.

call fowrwading

4B. If you receive a list of contacts as a prompt, this indicates that your calls/messages are being forwarded to those respective contact numbers.

13. Poor Phone Performance

So, apart from the above-listed reasons, if you want to know how to check if your phone is being tapped only by comparing performance parameters, there is an option for this too. When you find your mobile to be very slow in response, underperform than before, or lag for no reason, then it indicates that your mobile may be infected with any suspicious contents. Performance drainage is the most common symptom that every spyware attacked mobile face today. Now, you know the signs that indicate the presence of spying software or activities on your phone by learning how to tell if your phone is tapped section. 

What to Do When Your Phone is Tapped?

When you have noticed anyone of the above-listed symptoms, it indicates that your phone is tapped. Don’t wait for a second, your privacy is under threat. Below are some of the methods to stop or avoid those malicious attempts and check if anyone is tracking your phone. Read and follow them carefully on your phone.

Method 1: Turn On Airplane Mode

This is a simple hack when you find your phone being tapped by someone else. Turning on airplane mode will block the internet connection and kill the tasks being operated by third-party applications. Follow the below-mentioned steps to turn on Airplane mode on your Android device.

1. Scroll down the Notification Drawer on the home screen.

2. Now, tap the Airplane mode icon.

tap the Airplane mode

3. Wait for a few seconds and again tap the Airplane mode icon.

Wait for a few seconds and again tap the Airplane mode icon. How to Tell If Your Phone is Tapped

Method 2: Toggle OFF Install unknown apps Setting

There is a setting in your Android phone, Install unknown apps, when enabled, your Android installs apps from all enlisted sources. This is an extremely unsafe setting and your data are more vulnerable to attack by unknown apps. Toggle off the setting as instructed below.

1. Open the Settings app from the Home screen.

Launch the Settings app

2. Next, scroll down the screen and tap Privacy protection.

scroll down the screen and tap Privacy protection

3. Then, tap Special permissions.

tap Special permissions. How to Tell If Your Phone is Tapped

4. Now, tap the Install unknown apps setting from the list.

tap the Install unknown apps setting from the list

5. Have a glance at the list of apps in the list and tap the app that has granted access. Then, toggle off Allow from this source setting as shown.

toggle off Allow from this source setting

Method 3: Delete Battery Hogging & Spying Apps

Once you have sorted out a way how to tell if your phone is tapped by analyzing high battery usage apps, the next step you have to do is to uninstall the apps (if they seem to be unnecessary). In addition, search for any apps with keywords such as malware, spy, stealth, etc. If any apps contain these specific terms, choose to uninstall them from your Android.

1. Navigate to the Settings.

Launch the Settings app. How to Tell If Your Phone is Tapped

2. Now, tap on Apps.

tap on Apps. How to Tell If Your Phone is Tapped

3. Then, tap on Manage apps and then search for any malware apps and battery – hogging apps from the list.

tap on Manage apps and then search for any malware apps and battery hogging apps from the list

4. If you find any abnormal new apps that you are not heard of, tap on it followed by Uninstall as shown.

Uninstall app

Once you have deleted battery hogging & spying applications, reboot your Android.

Method 4: Deactivate Device Admin Access

Even if you know how to check if your phone is being tapped but still cannot delete the conflicting app from your Android device, then you must deactivate the admin access of particular apps (if any). If you find the uninstall option to be greyed out, there are a few chances that spyware is preventing the app from being uninstalled by enabling admin rights to the app. Here are a few steps to deactivate admin access for any app.

1. Launch the Settings app from the Home screen.

Launch the Settings app

2. Next, scroll down the screen and tap Privacy protection.

scroll down the screen and tap Privacy protection. How to Tell If Your Phone is Tapped

3. Then, tap Special permissions.

tap Special permissions

4. Now, tap the Device admin apps setting from the list.

tap the Device admin apps setting from the list. How to Tell If Your Phone is Tapped

5. Now, tap the app where you find On state of the Device admin apps status.

tap the app where you find On state of the Device admin apps status

Note: You can leave an exception for Google’s Find My Device app and also for the ones to which you have voluntarily granted access.

6. Then, tap Deactivate this device admin app option as shown.

tap Deactivate this device admin app option. How to Tell If Your Phone is Tapped

7. Finally, tap OK to continue with the prompt.

tap OK to continue with the prompt

Method 5: Opt Out of Ads Personalisation

Several marketing companies track your Android mobile and your data usage to target the ads you are interested in. This might go in the wrong way sometimes and if you want to avoid it, you must opt – out of ads personalization by following the below steps and learn how to tell if your cell phone is being spied on.

1. Open the Settings application from the Home screen as you did before.

Launch the Settings app. How to Tell If Your Phone is Tapped

2. Tap on Google from the list, as depicted.

Tap on Google from the list

3. Tap the Ads option under Services on this device, as depicted.

Tap the Ads option under Services on this device. How to Tell If Your Phone is Tapped

4. Tap the toggle option next to the Opt – out of Ads Personalisation, as shown below.

Tap the toggle option next to the Opt out of Ads Personalisation

5. Tap OK if you are prompted.

Method 6: Update Android

This is a common method that will help you fix any type of software issue in your Android. Any bugs and errors can be resolved with a system update as instructed in our guide 3 Ways to Check for Updates on your Android Phone.

Update Android

Method 7: Install Antivirus App

The antivirus apps like Avast help you to detect, eliminate and prevent malicious content entering your phone that eventually leads to spying on you. So, using any antivirus app you can tell if your phone is tapped. Read our article on 10 Best Free Antivirus Software for Android to choose the app of your choice and secure your device comprehensively.

Install Antivirus App. How to Tell If Your Phone is Tapped

Note: You can also use third-party spyware detector apps like Certo Anti Spyware to help you understand how to tell if your cell phone is being spied on and undertake cleaning techniques.

Also Read: Remove Android Viruses Without a Factory Reset

Method 8: Reset Phone

This is the last but effective method of fixing all spyware and bugs in your Android is to factory reset all of your data and settings. But make sure you back up your data and settings before you reset your smartphone. Follow our guide on How to Reset Your Android Phone to factory reset device.

Reset SmartPhone

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We hope this guide was useful and you can learn how to tell if your phone is tapped easily. Let us know which one of the above methods to prevent malicious attempts to spy on your device helped you the most. Please let us know if you have any queries regarding this article.

Posted by
Pete Mitchell

Pete is a Senior staff writer at TechCult. Pete loves all things technology and is also an avid DIYer at heart. He has a decade of experience writing how-tos, features, and technology guides on the internet.

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