IS MY PHONE TAPPED?

WHAT TO DO IF YOUR PHONE IS TAPPED?

If you suspect that your phone is tapped, you certainly want to have this confirmed and above all know how to protect yourself against wiretapping. It is important to consider why you think you are being bugged. This allows you to think in a certain direction for finding the perpetrator and reason. Consider the following situations.

IS MY PHONE TAPPED?

Do you have a feeling someone is listening in on your mobile, like a commercial company or Facebook, for example, then we can reassure you. That is highly unlikely. According to the law, organizations that have access to the microphone on your phone or computer via an online platform (such as Facebook, WhatsApp and Houseparty) can only use it for voice messages. Listening to your conversations is strictly prohibited.

Besides, why would they? People already post so much information of their own free will plus thanks to your online search behavior, organizations already know so much about you, that wiretapping to send you targeted advertising is not necessary. For more information and an explanation on whether Facebook is listening in on you, see this video by The Verge.

Tip 1: If you want to make sure that you do not give anyone a chance, change the privacy settings on your mobile phone so that no app has access to the microphone.

Tip 2: Install apps and software from official App Stores and organizations only. If you are not sure about an app or computer program, look for reviews or check with a professional security company.

LISTENING IN ON YOU REMOTELY

The trust we have in each other and to which extent a country is organized democratically determine the degree of wiretapping. In Europe and North America, the average citizen is most likely hardly bugged. Privacy is firmly rooted in the law here. In regions where the government has less confidence in its population and where the responsibility lies less with the citizens themselves, tapping by the government is more likely to occur.

In most western countries, the government (specialist criminal investigation units of the police and intelligence services) can only tap or wire persons or organizations under certain strict conditions. For example, to track down criminals  or terrorists to identify a (criminal) network or to arrest someone. If this is the case, tapping is justified due to the threat to society. Privacy violations are aimed at reducing the danger.

Tapping certainly happens, but more likely within organizations to find out commercial or strategic information. Think of high-ranking people in politics, at certain companies, or people who deal with controversial issues in society. Also, wiretapping occurs within the criminal world itself or by criminals who want to unveil information from citizens.

In this article, you will find more information about listening in on conversations via computers and mobile phones. Of course, there are several ways of tapping and other methods to get information. Intercepting messages and stealing information via systems and computers is also a method.

Are you interested to know more about guarding your online privacy? Read our article on ‘Cybercrime’. Listening in on live conversations by people themselves or via so-called bugs is another issue we address. If you require more information on detecting physical equipment (bugs) and IT options, contact us about our technical surveillance counter measures (TSCM) or ‘bug sweeping’ services.

HOW DO YOU KNOW IF YOUR PHONE IS TAPPED?

Listening in digitally can be done in different ways, for example, via your phone or computer systems. Although some websites (we found in a Google search) about tapping suggest that you can notice being bugged, we know from experience that most people do not notice anything at all. Certainly not if it happens remotely.

The only way your suspicion could be confirmed is when information you have confidentially shared with someone gets back to you in a different way. If you are sure that only you and your conversation partner were in on the information (and therefore, there are no other persons involved who may have ‘leaked’ it), this could be an indication that your conversation has been listened in on.

WHAT CAN A PROTECTION COMPANY DO FOR YOU?

If you suspect unauthorized tapping, contact a professional security company.

With various digital tools and detection devices, we can search and check your devices and systems. They allow us to detect malware and spyware and possibly find out who wants to know your confidential information. This allows us to remove the software or apps and gives you more information to report to the police or start a lawsuit. Of course, we can also help you with a further risk analysis to keep yourself, your employees or family safe.

If you have any questions about how Infinite Risks International detects bugging or tapping practices, or if you would like to discuss your situation with us, please feel free contact us for more information.

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