Law enforcement phone tapping is the only legal phone tap. Any time there is a phone tap from another source, whether it is a family member, friend or even a stranger, the tap is illegal. The best way to avoid a cell phone tap is preventing the tap in the first place. Unfortunately, prevention is not always possible due to cell phone spy software. There are ways to tell when a phone is tapped and there are some preventive actions that can minimise the risk of illegal cell phone taps.
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Listen for odd noises during cell phone conversations. While some static is due to bad connections on a phone call, if there are persistent odd noises such as static or clicking and the noises occur on most calls, the chance of a cell phone tap is high.
Call the cell phone provider. If you suspect your phone has been tapped, the cell phone provider can check it for a tap and will inform you. The only exception is when the phone is tapped by law enforcement, which is only likely if the authorities feel they have probable cause of a potential crime. Law enforcement must advise you of wiretapping once it has occurred, usually within 90 days of the tap's termination.
Keep your cell phone in your pocket or purse, or someplace fastened to you. While spyware software is difficult to catch, it is not the only way to tap a cell phone. Devices attached to the phone can also tap into it. Look for a fast-draining battery or the phone lighting up without cause. The best way to prevent this type of tapping is to keep the cell phone in a safe location where only you have access, keep it in hand or in sight when around others.
Set a password on the cell phone. A password puts a limit on spying from software because the spyware will need to break the password before it can access the phone.
Limit Internet use on the phone. Internet use is the most common way that spy software can get onto the phone in the first place. By minimising Internet use or getting a phone that does not have Internet service, the phone is less likely to have a trace.
Tips and warnings
- If you suspect your phone's been compromised, notify your area law enforcement. Your cell phone provider will generally notify both you and law enforcement if an illegal tap has been detected on your phone. Without prior consent or court approval, it is illegal to tap your cell phone.
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