Imagine spending your time living in Disney World when a phone notification makes your stomach drop. This happened to a Tennessee family when their teenage daughter received a signal for that iPhone Apple AirTag he was moving with her. Of course, it could be a false alarm, but it could mean that someone put a Bluetooth tracker in her bag to chase her.
This is a realistic fear. See all the stories from women who have learned that someone uses AirTag to track their every move. A woman found an Apple AirTag on the underside of her front wheel after leaving a bar. After analyzing 150 police reports, including AirTags, motherboard identified 50 cases in which women found out that someone was tracking them with an Apple AirTag they did not own.
Although Apple did not create AirTags as spyware, these gadgets can facilitate harassment, harassment and even human trafficking. The Tennessee family was completely frightened when they learned that AirTag was tracking their 16-year-old daughter. Unfortunately, none of them could find the hidden AirTag.
How to find hidden trackers
You may have never bought a Bluetooth tracker, so you don’t have to worry about them. Not true. Some scammer you come across may want to put a tracker in your bag or car. Criminals use AirTags to steal cars, so you have to be careful.
Fortunately, Apple will alert you when you are monitored. Along with a warning sound, you’ll also receive a notification that looks like this on your iPhone:
If you have an Android device, you will need to download Tracker detection. If the app detects an AirTag near you for at least 10 minutes, it plays sound. Download the free Tracker Detect app for Android here.
There is only one caveat: This app does not send automatic alerts. You need to start the scan manually.
Another way to find out if someone is watching you is to check your pockets and bags when you go out. AirTags are small, so people can shove them into hidden cracks without you noticing. Fasten your bags and keep them close.
You should even inspect your car for hidden Bluetooth trackers under your car or on wheels. Of course, this is annoying, but it is better to be safe than sorry. Fortunately, Apple makes it even easier for you to find hidden Bluetooth trackers.
CONNECTED: Worried about pursuers and thieves using AirTags? Apple is making these changes
Several silver facings
Apple is aware of many privacy concerns. Work on updates that will make it easier for you to find hidden AirTags. Here are some upcoming updates you should know about:
- Add privacy alerts when people set up AirTags: When someone sets up their AirTag for the first time, they are reminded that AirTag is designed to track items only. Apple will make it clear that using AirTags to chase people is a crime in many parts of the world.
- Correct warning issues: You may receive a vague warning that reads “Unknown accessory detected”. Apple solves this problem so that you know exactly what type of device is right for you.
- Updated support article for unwanted tracking: Apple updates its page on AirTag, AirPods and the entire Find My network. Now you can learn which accessories can trigger a tracking signal, instructions on what to do if you receive a warning, and more. Tap or click here for the new unwanted tracking support article.
- Precise finding: This feature will help you find an unknown AirTag so you don’t have to mess around. Precision Finding uses the sophisticated internal machine on your smartphone to help you find the tracker with – you guessed it – absolute precision.
Apple recently released a firmware update that makes the beeps even louder. In the past, people have missed notifications because the sound of the warning was too quiet. Thanks to Apple’s security update, you’ll be able to hear the alert.
This means you won’t miss a notification that AirTag is tracking you, so you can act faster to protect yourself. Here’s everything you need to know about the distinctive sound that lets you know that someone is following you.
What does this mean for you – and what to do with it
If you receive a warning that AirTag is watching you, open the Find My app. Tap the signal, press Continue> Play sound. Listen to the distinctive warning sound. You can play it again if you need more time to find the hidden AirTag.
You may not have heard the warning, but you did find the AirTag. You can use iPhone or Android to see if its owner has marked it as lost.
Just hold the top of your iPhone or Android close to the white side of the AirTag. Tap it and you’ll be taken to a website that tells you the AirTag serial number and the last four digits of the owner’s phone number.
Here’s what the page will look like:
If the owner has marked AirTag as lost, you will see his contact information. On the other hand, you may not see anything. If you think this AirTag is tracking you or someone else without your consent, tap Deactivation instructions to turn it off.
CONNECTED: Someone can track you with a Tile or AirTag – Red Flags that you are following
Keep this warning in mind
Let’s go back to the Tennessee family who visit Disney World. Remember, they never found a hidden AirTag. The Orange County Sheriff has a surprising hypothesis.
Officials say there may be no culprit. Maybe there was no fearsome pursuer who put an AirTag in the girl’s bag. Maybe the alarm rang on her phone because Disney World is full of people with Apple products, all of which are nearby.
Therefore, it is likely that these were wrong signals. So remember: false alarms are possible. But it’s good to be safe, so you should bookmark this page and share it with anyone who may be worried about being followed by scary strangers.
Now that you know how to find hidden trackers, here are some other cybersecurity tips to check out
One woman was harassed and persecuted. How we found the man.
How to find out if you are being persecuted or just paranoid
Online abuse is more common than ever. Do this to stop cyberstalkers
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