Is it possible for your phone connection to get crossed; for someone else to be able to listen to your phone conversations?
And, if so: Who’s listening?
On the other side of the equation: Is your cell phone picking up other conversations?
Many things can cause your cellphone to connect to other phone discussions.
The whole telephone system operates on a positive mish-mash of tech, software and hardware. Inevitably, glitches in this technology will sometimes occur.
And not pointing any fingers (as of yet), but it’s also possible that big tech giants in our world today may be the culprits for these mishaps in their not-so-covert attempts to gather marketing insight for their brands.
When you purchased your latest smartphone and were dazzled by all the features and apps it offered, it may have never occurred to you that your privacy could end up being a problem.
However, nowadays more and more users wonder whether their cell phones are being used for surveillance and monitoring purposes.
One such occurrence that often raises these suspicions is when your device begins to pick up other people’s conversations.
Why Is A Cell Phone Picking Up Other Conversations? A Primer
Over time, it has become apparent that in a small minority of cases, owners of popular smart products like cell phones and tablets can unwittingly end up listening to other users’ conversations.
Additionally, they may find that their devices are capable of picking up background noises as well!
You might initially think that this is nothing to be overly concerned about, but it may actually be connected to a more troubling development with modern smartphones.
Companies such as Facebook, Apple, and many others continually use new technology to gather user data. Even if you are not a user of a particular platform, their methods of gathering data may still have a far-reaching impact on you.
The intentions are usually good: they want to use this data to improve their product’s features and make texting and calling easier for users.
You are probably aware that it is now easier than ever to carry out surveillance activities using modern technologies.
Cell phones with built-in microphones, certain apps, and adequate permissions do not even need to be activated by the user before they begin gathering data.
This means that your devices could potentially be recording your voice at any given moment and sending marketing data over the internet to remote servers all around the world.
It’s not outrageous by any means to suspect that numerous companies and third-party apps listen in to conversations through the microphone- and then channel what they’re hearing into internal marketing data.
By doing this and compiling relevant information, more and more targeted advertisements can be developed to achieve increasingly successful sales conversions.
User data is incredibly valuable in marketing. Therefore, it is also possible that many of these companies are listening to what you are saying with the intention of selling the data that they have compiled about you and your habits.
It is incredibly troubling to think that we are being spied on by big businesses and marketing companies. No one wants to have their conversations listened to without their approval or knowledge!
The true facts about these practices are currently deep-rooted tech mysteries that we hope can come to light eventually (and hopefully not bring the whole world down with it!)
Thankfully, there are some answers to a few of these worrying questions that have risen to the surface- of which we will detail below.
We have also compiled effective tips that you can utilize to stop glitches from occurring while using your smartphone, so that you can ensure that you never have to worry about picking up other conversations on your phone again!
So, Can Cell Phone Lines Get Crossed?
Unfortunately, cell phone lines can get crossed pretty often.
We’ve all been there; you’re on the phone with a friend or colleague, when you suddenly hear muffled voices or another ongoing call intruding in on your conversation!
Both of the above scenarios are a result of phone lines being crossed.
Cell phones are excellent gadgets for staying in touch with our loved ones and keeping connected to the world around us.
However the crossing of cell phone lines does occur randomly here and there, which can be quite uncomfortable for everyone involved!
Why Can I Hear Someone Else’s Conversation On My Cell Phone?
It can be unnerving to overhear someone’s cell phone conversation in the background of a phone call you initiated.
The situation can become quite the waste of time and money- especially if you have to listen to an argument or hear a sales pitch from a telemarketer overshadowing your own discussion.
This occurrence is referred to as a “cross-talk” situation.
Essentially, the cause of cross-talk is signals leaking from one circuit to another during phone conversations.
In these instances, the voice call network signals hop from one channel to another- meaning you will hear other people’s conversations on your device.
How Exactly Does My Phone Pick Up Other Conversations?
We need to cover a few basics before explaining how these situations occur.
What Is Spyware?
Spyware is a software program that collects information about activities on your computer and mobile devices.
It can collect data about the sites you visit, the media you watch, and your habits and behaviors on the internet.
You can download spyware without even knowing it!
Developers link spyware to adware, which means that it will show ads related to what you are searching for if you have an ad-supported application installed on your computer.
It can be dangerous therefore if browsers like Firefox and Google Chrome do not block advertising by default.
Can Other Systems Listen To Your Conversations?
Let’s examine this question from one aspect by first studying how someone can do this with your mobile phone.
We’ve already established that cell phone lines can get crossed at times.
Therefore, it is theoretically possible that companies can intentionally cross lines to listen to phone conversations discreetly.
One of the ways they might gain access to phone conversations is by engineering apps to perform exactly these operations.
When you enable these apps, they gain control over the cell phone’s microphone to listen in on your conversations.
It could even go so far as switching on the phone’s mic when you are not even using the device!
How Do I Stop Hearing Other Peoples’ Conversations?
The first logical way to stop listening to people’s conversations on your cell phone is very simply by hanging up when it occurs!
If you are on a phone call and happen to hear someone else chatting about their favorite soap or the latest football score, feel free to drop the call at any time and redial to connect with your previous intended contact.
Chances are that you will encounter this situation from time to time.
However, if it becomes a regular occurrence, it may be a good idea to take the time to inform your telecommunication provider of the recurring crossed lines on your cell phone.
How Private Are Cell Phone Conversations?
Currently we all have to deal with potentially massive invasions of privacy by technology companies, and the social media apps and websites you use in your daily life are a massive culprit.
It might seem like your calls are private; and to some extent, that’s true enough.
However, even if you turn off the information-sharing settings on your cell phone, there may be other things to be concerned about.
While you may think your conversations are private and secure, there may be some loopholes you’re not currently aware of.
Apps can listen in while you browse Facebook or check your Twitter feed. While it can be hard to believe, big tech companies do have laws and permission to do this sort of thing because they own the data you input into their systems.
Sadly, you have to agree to their terms before using these apps, which many of us do without even thinking about it when we need to communicate with each other daily.
Not only do these companies and applications have access to your data, the government also has the ability to tap into your cell phone conversations.
We live in a free country. But is your freedom actually restricted when the government knows all your business and can access calls, emails, and more?
Therefore, we cannot say that cell phones are entirely private because we do not know the extent to which government agencies and corporate companies listen to our conversations.
For now, everyone is either blithely ignoring the fact that the tech companies are compromising privacy (and hoping for the best), or doing the little they can by criticizing these companies online.
How Can I Make Sure No One Hears My Conversations?
When it comes to increasing the privacy of your cellular device, there are some things that you can do to protect yourself.
Choosing not to use a cellphone is of course the ultimate blanket answer.
However, it is pretty much impossible to implement this solution in modern society because we use phones for many things, and communication is essential for all of us.
So, we have listed below some alternate ways that you can keep your conversations discreet:
- Download applications from trusted sources only
- Never install pirated applications, even if the source seems legitimate
- Avoid jailbreaking and rooting your cell phone
- Do not connect to public WiFi, except when unavoidably necessary
- Keep a lookout for suspicious activities
- Make sure you activate the multi-factor authentication system to protect your accounts and devices
- If an unknown party sends you an email with attachments, don’t click any links!
- Keep your Bluetooth and location off when not in use
- Be vigilant while granting permissions to your mobile phone applications and games
- Do not forget to enable all the security features on your handset
- If you need to discuss a sensitive issue, try to schedule a physical meeting with the person
- Be conscious when you are standing among people to avoid shoulder surfing
Unfortunately, even if you take all these measures, you might still not have 100% protection against privacy-invading technology.
However, these tips will go a long way in making you as protected as possible!
While you might need not worry about prioritizing protection against IMSI-catchers (an eavesdropping device in the form of a fake mobile tower), it’s still important to secure your data from the most common forms of cyberattacks.
Dodgy WiFi hotspots, malicious email attachments, and malware from rogue apps are examples of dangerous situations that you should make the effort to avoid!
How To Tell If Someone Is Listening To Your Cellphone Conversations On A Crossed Line
While we expect the telecom brands to play their role to prevent crossed lines, there are ways to identify if this is happening to you.
It should go without saying, but you should end a call immediately if you suspect others are listening to your conversation.
The specific symptoms of suspicious activity you should look out for include the following:
If your ears happen to catch some muffled, strange noise during your phone call, it may be a sign that someone’s overhearing (and potentially recording) your conversation.
Rapidly Declining Battery Levels
It should stoke your sixth sense when you see your cell phone battery levels going down without much active usage.
Rapidly declining battery life can be another indication that potentially malicious background activity is happening on your phone.
Increased Data Usage
When malware compromises your mobile phone, you may begin to experience a surge in data usage.
This occurs because the malware continuously transmits data from your mobile phone to remote servers managed by unknown people.
Always scan your phone using trusted and effective online security tools to detect and remove malware.
Preserving Privacy: Tech Giants Vs Telecom Companies
It’s the personal opinion of this author that companies such as Facebook and other apps listen to you without you knowing.
These tech giants do so by making use of their ‘transcribing software’.
However, it has been suggested that these transcription companies pick up only extremely vague and undetailed information from the users they monitor via this technology.
Online, you will often see articles that connect virtual assistants such as Google Assistant, Alexa, Cortana, or Siri with claims related to mixed conversations during phone calls.
On the other hand, much of the blame goes to the telecom brands as well. They are primarily in charge of the network and what happens on them, after all.
Therefore, telecom brands have a vital role to play in preventing phone lines from crossing and private conversations being heard by strangers.
This is a critical situation that needs to be addressed, as you may not be aware that you are unwittingly sharing private information. Even before realizing the error, you may have already passed sensitive details to a stranger!
Finally, older adults are typically more at risk when this happens because they may become vulnerable to strangers who can convince them to divulge sensitive financial information whilst pretending to be someone else.
After reading this article, you should now have a decent inkling that your cell phone picking up other conversations may be a troubling symptom of modern networks and online big business techniques.
In an ideal world, you should be able to have private conversations with anyone you want!
In situations where it is only a glitch in telecom systems that is causing the phenomenon, your mobile carrier may be able to resolve the issue quickly.
If there are delays in solving the problem, don’t allow conversations to continue once you notice that the lines are crossing.
Instead, hang up the call and wait a few minutes before redialing the contact you want to speak with.
Finally, try to remain mindful of revealing sensitive information on phone calls and open lines. You never know who may be listening!
Do you know how to stay safe on your smartphone? Keep yourself protected with our Comprehensive A-Z Of Smartphone Security right HERE!