Think your cell phone is hacked? In this article I’ll show you some simple codes you can use to see if your phone has been tapped or hacked. These codes will work on an iPhone or Android phone.
Smartphones use some of the most advanced encryption out there. But that doesn’t make them impervious to getting hacked.
Codes to Check If Your Cell Phone is Hacked or Tapped
Phone security is extremely powerful, but it’s not perfect.
And since everyone carries a smartphone or mobile device, using it to access all sorts of sensitive private data and personal information, it pays to know if someone has hacked into your phone.
Every year hackers target millions of users (both Android and iPhone) in order to steal important financial data and more. It’s even possible to activate a phone’s camera and use pictures as blackmail.
So what can you do to protect yourself from cyber crimes? To start you can use a code to check if the phone is hacked. More on that in a minute…
Well there are some telltale signs that a phone is hacked.
Here’s what you’ll learn in this article:
- What are the signs of a hacked phone?
- A code to check if your phone is hacked
- A code to check if your phone is tapped
- How to clean your phone
Codes To Dial to Check If Your Phone is Hacked
Smartphone codes are built into many major phone operating systems (including iOS for iPhones and Android) that allow you to access information relating to the security of your device.
While most people have never heard of USSD codes (Unstructured Supplementary Service Data), using them is actually quite simple. The key is knowing which ones to use.
Here are some steps you should take to see if your phone is hacked or tapped.
To get started you simply open up the call dialer app and enter the USSD codes exactly as I have listed below.
USSD Code *#06# – IMEI Check
You should start by finding out what your phone’s IMEI code (International Mobile Equipment Identifier) number is. The IMEI number is a unique identifier for your specific device. It is like a hard coded identifier that each device has built in.
If your phone has been compromised you’ll want to have this number handy as it will be required if you want to take any sort of legal action such as filing a police report.
It’s also handy for finding your device if it’s been stolen.
Once you enter this code using the dialer pad on your phone you’ll want to keep the IMEI number somewhere safe so that others can’t find it.
Think Your Phone is Being Tracked?
There are special codes that allow someone to track your phone’s location. To see if someone has enabled this on your phone you’ll need the utility netmonitor code. Type in one of the following codes:
the iPhone code is: *3001#12345#*
the Android code is either: *#*#4636#*#* or: *#*#197328640#*#*
Once you’ve entered the code above peform the following steps:
Step 1. Select the menu item UMTS Cell Environment, then UMTS RR info. Take note of the Cell ID number. These numbers are the basic cell stations located nearby. By default your mobile device will connect to the one with the strongest signal.
Step 2. Return to the main menu. Then click on the MM info tab, then select Serving PLMN. Write down the numbers under Local Area Code (LAC).
Step 3. Using these two numbers and an ordinary website (the fourth tab to the left), you can determine the location on the map of the basic station that your phone is connected to.
USSD Code *#62* – The Call Redirection Code
Another method hackers use is to modify your forwarding settings using redirection commands. This code requests the call forwarding status of your phone.
If your calls or texts aren’t getting through to you, it could be that your device is set up to forward to another number. Checking your phone forwarding settings is a quick way to find out who might have hacked your phone.
Unfortunately call redirections are much more common than most people think and have been used for nearly a decade to hijack people’s phone calls and text messages.
Ideally when you enter the *#62* code you should see nothing.
If your phone is forwarding to another number it will display after you enter the *#62* code.
You should see the 10 digit phone number where your calls and messages are being forwarded.
You can also check for a redirection in your call logs. These can be accessed through the website of your wireless service provider.
USSD Code *#21# – The Diversion Code
The diversion code *#21# is used to detect if your cell number is being diverted.
Since call redirections actually hit your cell phone BEFORE being redirected to the secondary number, they WILL show up on your phone bill.
Call diversions, on the other hand, will not.
A call diversion works by canceling the call before it reaches your number, the call is then placed to the diversionary number.
For this reason they won’t show up on your bills. And unless you know to check your phone with the *#21# code you would be unaware that calls are being diverted.
While redirections can be because of a fake cell phone tower or other type of interference, a call diversion would require someone to have access to your phone.
This could be anyone who might’ve handled your phone. So if you ever have a stranger ask to borrow your phone, this is a handy code to know to make sure they didn’t set up a diversion while using it.
Below is a screenshot from my Google Pixel showing the results of dialing the *#21# code.
Utility Netmonitor Code: *#*#197328640#*#*
This code requires a bit more of an explanation.
A net monitor is a network packet data analyzer.
It tracks everything your phone sends or receives including the phone’s location data, incoming and outgoing calls.
This handy code will let you find the geographic location of a person who might be accessing your phone. This sort of information can very useful if you need to press charges against someone as it can serve as evidence.
Once you type *#*197328640#*#* into your phone you’ll be taken to a menu. From this menu you’ll want to select UMTS Cell Environment, then select UMTS RR information.
Your cell phone will then display a cell ID. Write this number down.
Then press the back key on your phone twice and choose MM Information. Then select Serving PLMN.
Write down the local area code that appears.
Next you’ll need to go to a Netmonitor website. My favorite is https://opencellid.org.
On this site you’ll enter your cell ID and local area code that you wrote down.
The website will return the location data of any devices connected to yours.
Signs That Your Mobile Phone is Hacked
Now that you know the codes to check if your phone is hacked let’s look at some of the common symptoms of compromised device.
If your mobile phone is being monitored it’s most likely behaving differently. This is because hacking software like spy apps use phone resources causing slower operation and poor battery performance.
Any of the symptoms below should be a red flag:
- Unknown apps – most monitoring apps are installed directly on your device, so if you see an app you don’t recognize or if it has a generic name, this is a key sign.
- Poor battery performance – spyware or malware that constantly runs in the background will cause your battery life to suffer, it can also slow down performance.
- High Data Usage – excessive data usage is a telltale sign that your phone is compromised. Monitoring apps upload your data to a server. If you notice higher than normal data usage you should investigate.
- Unusual pop-ups – if you have an ad blocker enabled and you’re still seeing pop-ups this could be a sign that malware is attempting to get information from you by phishing.
- Unusual behavior – are your contacts or friends receiving text or social media messages from you that you never sent?
- Email failures – if your emails aren’t being delivered properly it could be a sign that your outgoing email server might’ve been changed
- Passwords changed – if passwords from apps or websites you visit are mysteriously changed without your knowledge.
While this list doesn’t include every possible sign that your phone is being hacked, it should give you an idea of what to look for, what’s normal and what isn’t.
Now let’s take a look at what you should DO if you notice any of these behaviors on your smartphone.
This isn’t an exhaustive list of potential signs and signals that you’re being hacked, but it should give you a good idea so you can make common-sense decisions about what’s normal and what isn’t.
What should you do if you notice any of the above?
What to Do If You’ve Been Hacked
If your phone has been hacked there are a few things you’ll want to do to ensure your device is re-secured.
If your phone has been redirected you’ll want to use code ##002# to remove all redirects to other phone numbers.
Encrypt Your Data
The next thing you’ll want to do is encrypt all of the data on your phone. Google’s Pixel automatically encrypts all your data when locked. For other Android devices see this resource.
On many devices you’ll find encryption under Settings, then Security.
Be aware that depending upon the amount of data, as well as how fast your phone’s processor is, this could take several hours.
To ensure the process isn’t interrupted make sure to plug your phone in while doing this.
Restore to Factory Defaults
This essentially wipes your phone of all data. Any malicious apps or spyware will be wiped along with everything else on the device.
Once the factory reset is complete you can restore your apps and data.
Phone Hacking Security Measures
There are a handful of simple things you can do to protect against phone hacking. Here are a few of the most important.
Use Complex Passwords
Using a complex password can vastly improve the security of your phone.
This should be done for things like Google accounts, your Apple ID, website logins etc. Complex passwords make it difficult for hackers to use brute force hacking methods to access things like your social media accounts, banking details and more.
You should also use unique passwords for different accounts so that if one is hacked, your other accounts won’t be compromised.
Avoid using easily guessable PINS such as graduation dates, birthdays etc. Random password generators can quickly create a complex password that will help keep your important data safe.
Always Use a VPN
Whenever you’re connected to Public wi-fi or unsecured Internet connections you run the risk of unsavory actors stealing your data. Using a tool like Kaspersky VPN (virtual private network) can VASTLY improve your security.
Always keep the security patches on your phone up to date. This will help protect your data from hackers, sketchy or unreputable apps, and advanced security breaches.
Use Common Sense
Take care when opening emails, text messages, and sms messages from people you don’t know. Phishing is a common tactic to hack into less secure phones.
You can also install anti-malware software from a handful of providers like Norton or Kaspersky to ensure your phone is better protected.
These apps are available in the App Store or Google Play.