You often see this in the movies. Government agencies tap cell phone lines and can hear every single conversation that a person make. They can locate the person’s exact location via GPS monitoring, and can see every single message that the person sends or recieve from his mobile phone. Most of us would have thought this remains very much only a secret agent kind of thing. The reality is starkly different.
It used to require a lot of technical know how to wire tap a phone. The advert of new programming skills and new mobile phones has made this easier. So easy that it takes someone just a few minutes to install a software that cost less than $100 USD into a person’s phone and the person’s cell phone activities can be monitored 24 hours a day. If you think this is new, think again. Word tracker which is a software is available in the UK for a few years by now. All you have to do is to enter the cell phone number, an SMS will be sent to the phone. If a confirmation is received from the phone, the phone location can then be seen via the website.
While GPS tracking can be justified by parents who wants to know exactly where their children are, many newer software offers even scarier functions. With these software, a person can eavesdrop onto what the person is saying, even when he is not talking on the phone. Imagine the consequence of your top business secret leaking out. The best or worst part is, these software are generally not detectable by normal people.
If you think these activities are illiegal, you might be right. However, the software itself is not illegal. The software sellers displays a disclaimer that these softwares are not meant for any illegal use. Most of them tout their main usage for the monitoring and safety of children. How the software is used is up to the user.
How can you know if your phone is being bugged. There are few tell tale signs, and these includes data traffic being used when you are not using the phone, or hearing clicks on the phone when you are talking on it. These are however very non specific, and a proper detection by security companies can help uncover these software easily.
That being said, the best way to safe guard your phone is not to install any unknown software, or leave you phone unattended so that someone can install these programs on your phone. The take home message, keep your phone safely if you treasure your privacy.