Can Your Phone Be Tapped Without Your Knowledge?

By Lee Stevens

Both cell phones and land lines can be tapped easily without the knowledge of the phone owner. Only the government can tap phones legally without the knowledge of the phone owner.

Land Line Phone Tapping

Government officials may tap land lines under the Patriot Act if they are suspicious of the phone owner or activities occurring over the phone line. Individuals may tap land lines by purchasing special equipment, but it is illegal.

Cell Phone Tapping

Cell phones are easily tapped by anyone who purchases and downloads software from any of several on-line companies. The cell phone owner does not need to know, and software programs can monitor phone calls and text messages.

Legal Implications

Tapping a cell phone is illegal without the consent of the person being tapped. If caught, people who tap a cell phone can face fines or prison time.


Cell phones can be tracked and monitored by anyone including criminals who want to steal someone's identify.

How to Protect Yourself

Your may never know if your cell phone is tapped, but there are measures you can take to protect yourself. Don't leave your phone unattended, take out the battery when not in use and have a security password.

Signs of Tapping

Cell phones that are warm when they have not been used, phones that light up at unexpected times and hearing unexpected beeps or clicks during a phone call are all signs that your phone might be tapped.