The reason for this guide
We have posted the 2017 updated guide for how to tell if your phone is tapped. Please read the new information.
Some people don’t give a lot of thought to this, though. “Why would anyone want to spy on the cat photos that I post on Facebook?” asks the regular person.
Like with most security, it’s not needed 99% of the time. But when it’s needed, it’s REALLY needed.
Who can possibly tap your cell phone?
A lot of parties could be interested in your private information.
However, measures against government surveillance are beyond the scope of this guide and we will cover anti-advertising tactics in another guide.
- A romantic or a former romantic partner
- Your boss or a colleague from your workplace
- A private detective, possibly employed by someone from 1. or 2.
What information can they get from tapping your cell phone?
They could all see the photos and videos that you took with your mobile and even activate the camera at will and see what the camera is seeing at the moment.
If this is alright with you, you probably shouldn’t read further…
Some services pretend to let people “spy on their friends’ text messages” but they are just unsophisticated scams.
We have reviewed some of them and recommend you to learn about these spy apps to know what the ‘enemy’ is capable of.
As soon as you send a text, for example, the cell phone spy app intercepts it, sends a copy to a server and when the spy logins to their user dashboard they would see all your texts.
To grab the most data from your phone, these apps are installed on a rooted Android phone or a jailbroken iPhone.
If you use an iPhone, however, they can even get away without installing anything on your device.
If the password if correct mSpy will pull all your private information from the iCloud and feed it straight to the spy’s dashboard.
If you suspect that the data from your iCloud backups is used to tap your phone, change your iCloud password immediately to a very strong password that you’ve never used before.
We’ve seen what kind of information a spy can obtain by tapping your phone and how they can theoretically do it with installing a cell phone spy app or by knowing your iCloud password (if you use iPhone).
Battery usage and temperature
Look at your battery usage statistics in Settings->Battery.
Also, keep an eye for . If the battery usually carries your phone for the whole day and suddenly it’s only good for 5-6 hours, it might be a telltale sign for some dodgy app messing with your phone.
The last battery issue worth paying attention to is . If your phone suddenly starts to become extremely hot in the battery area, again it points to a possible spy app infection.
Weird phone behavior
All these things might be a symptom of a spy app running in the background and interfering with the normal operation of your mobile phone.
Unusual text messages
Pay attention to .
Unstable data usage
If you usually use 2GB in a month but suddenly receive a notification from your mobile provider that your data plan has run out on the 10th of the month, it could mean that your and a spy app is at fault.
Check if your Android phone is rooted or if your iPhone is jailbroken
Cell phone spy apps need to operate on a rooted Android or a jailbroken iPhone to use most of their abilities.
For iPhone: in Spotlight search look for an app called ‘Cydia’. If it pops up, it usually means that your iPhone is jailbroken.
What To Do If You Suspect That Your Cell Phone Is Tapped
Maybe you went over the previous section and got some indications that your phone might be tapped.
Change your iCloud Password
It should be secure and difficult to guess. You can follow a guide to create a very strong password.
Change your GMail Password
This way, your location cannot be tracked via Android Device Manager.
Unroot your Android phone
Remove jailbreak from your iPhone
Scan your cell phone with an anti-malware app
Lookout is one of the best malware and anti-spy scanners for your cell phone, but you can also use Malwarebytes or Avast – all of them will alert you about possible dangerous apps running on your cell phone.
That’s why we recommend to scan with Lookout only after you have unrooted your cell phone.
Use your anti-malware app to remove all spy apps from your device
Secure your phone
Make sure nobody except you installs anything on the phone and avoid sideloading apps, especially ones that you’re not sure about.