Most people think that if they turn off their location services on their phone, they can no longer be tracked. But that’s not necessarily the case. There are a number of ways to track someone even without using location services.
In this article, we will explore some of those methods and give you a few tips on how you can prevent this from happening.
What Is Phone Tracking And How Does It Work?
Let’s start with the basics so we can fully understand how come it’s possible to know someone’s location even if their location services are turned off. So, what’s phone tracking?
Phone tracking is the use of technology to identify the location of a person or device. This can be done using a number of methods, such as GPS, triangulation, and others.
Each method has its own advantages and disadvantages, but they all work by collecting data that can be used to pinpoint a location.
GPS is the most common form of phone tracking, and it’s what most people think of when they hear the term “tracking.” GPS tracking works by using a network of satellites to identify the location of a device. The GPS receiver in the device then uses that information to calculate its own location, and if you can collect that data, you could pinpoint someone’s location.
So, let’s assume that you turn your location services off – you can no longer be located, right? Wrong. Here’s how and why.
Can You Still Be Tracked If Your Location Services Are Turned Off?
Yes, you absolutely can. Generally speaking, there are three ways for someone to track you even if you turn the location toggle off. Those three ways are:
- Phone number/cell tower tracking
- Public Wi-Fi tracking
So, let’s hear a few words about them.
1. Cell Phone Number/Cell Tower Tracking
Cell phone towers can also be used to track a phone’s location. This is done by triangulation, which is a process of using three (hence the name) or more points to determine an object’s location.
In the case of cell phone tracking, the three points are typically the cell towers that which the phone is connected to. By measuring the distance between the phone and the towers, it’s possible to calculate the phone’s location.
This process is not as accurate as GPS tracking, but it can still be used to get a general idea of where someone is. And, if you have a person’s cell phone number, you could use this information to learn of their whereabouts through services like Viespy.
2. Public Wi-Fi Tracking
If you’re trying to stay hidden – we’d strongly advise against connecting to a public Wi.Fi. If you do connect to a public Wi-Fi network, your device will broadcast its location. This is because Wi-Fi networks use something called “media access control” (MAC) addresses to identify devices.
A MAC address is a unique identifier that is assigned to every device that connects to a network. It’s sort of like a fingerprint – no two devices have the same MAC address.
When you connect to a public Wi-Fi network, your device’s MAC address is broadcasted and can be collected by anyone who is on the same network. Once someone has your MAC address, they could use it to track your location.
This process is called “Wi-Fi fingerprinting,” and it’s a method that is often used by law enforcement and intelligence agencies to track people.
The third way that someone can track you even if you turn off your location services is through spyware. Spyware is a type of malicious software that is installed on a device without the user’s knowledge.
Once it’s installed, spyware can be used to track a person’s location, collect their personal data, and even eavesdrop on their conversations. In other words, it’s a powerful tool that can be used for nefarious purposes.
There are a number of ways that spyware can be installed on a person’s device. It could be done through a phishing attack, by downloading a malicious app, opening a malicious email attachment or by simply reading a message on WhatsApp. In fact, some sophisticated spyware software like Pegasus could infiltrate your phone without ever making any kind of contact with it, but you don’t have to worry about this one. It’s just a fun bit of information.
Anyway, once the spyware is installed, it will start collecting data and sending it to the person who installed it. This means that, even if you turn off your location services, the person who installed the spyware will still be able to track your whereabouts.
Why Would Someone Want To Track A Phone’s Location?
There are a number of reasons why someone might want to track a phone’s location. For example, some folks may want to keep tabs on their child’s or sick parents’ whereabouts or make sure that their spouse is not cheating on them.
In other cases, people have also been known to use phone tracking as a way to stalk and harass others. This can be a particularly big problem for women, who may be targeted by stalkers and harassers, so there are both good and bad sides to this, which is why you need to learn to protect yourself.
How Can You Protect Your Privacy And Keep Your Phone Safe?
The best way to protect your privacy and keep your phone safe from being tracked is to simply use your phone wisely. You have to be careful.
Don’t download doggy apps, don’t connect to public Wi-Fi networks and don’t give out your number easily or post it all over social media. If you absolutely must connect to a public Wi-Fi network or surf “questionable” websites – make sure that you use at least use good VPN software.
A VPN, or virtual private network, will encrypt your traffic and data, making it much more difficult for someone to track you. Additionally, we’d recommend that you use secure web browsers that could protect you from sudden attacks and filter out some of the trash. And finally – don’t click on strange links. Actually, don’t click on links at all. Unless you really know the person or you are sure what’s being sent – don’t open links. It’s super easy to embed a tracking code into a link and voila – your location is forever tracked by this other person.
As you can see, there are a number of ways that someone can track your location, even if you turn off your location services. This can be done through things like Wi-Fi fingerprinting, spyware and even just simply using your phone carelessly.
If you want to protect your privacy and keep your phone safe, you need to be careful about how you use it. Be smart about the apps you download, the links you click on and the networks you connect to. And if you can, invest in a good VPN service to encrypt your traffic and data. Take care!