One day, my father-in-law answered a phone call on his cell and was shocked to hear his own voice on the other end. After listening a few seconds, he realized that he was listening to a recorded conversation that he'd had with a customer many days prior.
My in-laws asked me how this happened and I theorized, but didn't have a good answer at the time.
They can turn on your cellphone and listen to your conversation from anywhere at any time
Now it seems that what happened to him is the same sort of thing that happened to these two poor ladies where someone secretly installed software on their phone
allowing them to track and monitor where they went, what they said, who called them and when, and, worst of all, turn on their cellphone remotely to listen to them even when they weren't using the phone.
At the end of the video, they mention a website for more information which has a few more details about the experiment such as the fact that the FBI used similar technology to spy on organized crime families.
The main problem here is that by putting all those extra features and gimmicks into cellphones means that they're nothing short of hand-held computers (and with that comes all the computer vulnerabilities). However, they mention ways to protect yourself such as:
- Keep a close watch on your cellphone
- Use a password on your phone to prevent casual tampering
- Avoid high-end phones with internet and multiple networking capabilities
- Remove the battery from the phone when it's not being used
And by this point you're probably thinking the same thing I am, if you are the kind who wants a cool phone, how realistic is any of this? Not very.
Instead, their last recommendation, which is the same I was going to make is to get a pre-paid cellphone for better security. Why? It's just a phone. No gimmicks, no computers (and no contract!).
It would be nice if cell phone companies would be willing to cell simple phones with only a few basic features that we actually want (like voice-dialing), but until and unless that ever happens, your best security is with a pre-paid phone.