When you make a phone call, whether you are using your cell phone or a landline, you have a general expectation that your call is private, just between you and the recipient of the call. However, there may be instances where your phone or the other party's phone is tapped or you are otherwise being listened to. Chances are you will notice signs, when using your phone, that can indicate whether or not someone else is listening in on your telephone conversations.
Listen for additional sounds on the line, such as popping, excessive static, humming or clicking. All of these sounds can indicate that there is a tapping device attached to your phone. You must listen carefully to hear some of these sounds. However, this could also be indicative of a problem in the actual phone line, so you will need to find other signs, as well, to be sure.
Listen for your phone to make noise, even after you have hung up. Many tapping devices can also serve as a microphone and speaker. Because of this, the phone line will emit sounds even when the phone is not in use. You need an audio amplifier to detect the sounds travelling through the wires. In a phone that is not tapped, the line will be silent when the phone is hung up.
Watch for interference with your radio and television. Many tapping devices interfere with the normal signals that travel to your radio and television. In fact, you can actually use a radio or small television to find a tapping device. Tune in to a bandwidth that does not carry a station in your area. If there is a tapping device close by, the bandwidth will squeal. Move the device around the room until it emits a high-pitched shriek, and you should find the device.
Check for changes to hardware. Tapping devices sometimes alter the physical appearance of hardware in or near your home. Some tapping devices are installed into the receiver of you phone, changing the appearance of the receiver. The phone jack in the wall and the phone box outside your home are also places for tapping devices to be installed, changing their appearance.
Check for utility vans to park nearby. Chances are, if you are being observed, there is an observation truck nearby. These vehicles are usually disguised as a work truck with tinted windows. The vehicle is parked near your home in the same place daily, and it never appears to be there for actual work. This can be a indicator that someone is listening to your conversations.
Use a cordless phone. Cordless phones can easily be tapped into without a tapping device. In fact, many people can listen to these conversations without even trying. Devices, such as baby monitors and police scanners, can pick up conversations on cordless phones, if the phone is nearby and is using the same frequency. Therefore, if you are worried about others hearing your conversation, it is best to not use a cordless phone.