Is It Possible to Track People via GPS or WI-FI?
If you’re not the head of an international corporation, that doesn’t mean that no one is watching you along with geolocation tracking apps.
An acquaintance of mine is always wary of business communications – he has three phones, three messengers on each, and he talks exclusively through them, and he always calls back from a different number than the one you called. I can’t say that his suspiciousness is excessive, although from the outside it looks very uncomfortable. However, today’s IT landscape provides a basis for such concerns: a fierce business environment coupled with jealous partners, stern competitors and cybercriminals always ready to lighten your pocket keeps you busy.
Is it possible to track you via GPS? If a gadget isn’t infected with a virus or if the user didn’t install a geolocation app on it himself (as is the case with kids’ gadgets), the system works only one way: the phone receives a signal from several satellites, analyzes how long it’s been traveling, and thus calculates its coordinates. So it’s impossible to track someone using just GPS alone, because you have to somehow send a “scramble to the center” with coordinates from your phone, and the GPS standard doesn’t provide such a possibility.
How to protect yourself from being tracked via your smartphone?
- Use strong passwords and two-factor authentication for your accounts, especially important ones like Apple ID and Google Account.
- Protect your devices with a PIN and don’t share it with anyone.
- Only install apps from official stores. Although sometimes questionable apps trickle into both GooglePlay and the AppStore.
- Don’t give mobile apps permissions that you think are unnecessary. You can always extend a program’s permissions when you need to.
- Use a robust security solution that recognizes not only malware but also conditionally-legal spyware, alerting the owner of the device to it.
Surveillance via cellular networks. But with cellular towers, unlike GPS satellites, the communication goes both ways. However, to legally access this data is very difficult, in addition geolocation using cell towers is not very accurate: it only allows you to determine the area where you are.
Tracking via Wi-Fi. Tracking your movements can also be done using Wi-Fi – when you log into an open network, it also receives data about your device, and your smartphone sends information about itself into the air looking for available networks. You can spy on your movements via Wi-Fi as long as you’re near access points under the tracker’s control.
Even if you’re not the head of an international corporation, that doesn’t mean no one is spying on you at all. For example, your GPS coordinates, personal correspondence and other data may well be of interest to enemies. And here’s how those people might actually be watching you.
Hack into your Apple or Google account
By default, iOS and Android collect your data. They store it in your Apple or Google account, among other things. If it gets hacked, everything the system has diligently collected will fall into the hands of an attacker.
View metadata, geotags, and checks
Unfortunately, sometimes users make it much easier to spy on themselves.For example, they publish photos to social networks with metadata – information about the photo in the file: where and when it was taken, what camera was used, etc. Your checks and manually entered geo-tags can also play into the hands of intruders. If you want to prevent others from following your movements, it is better to give all of this up.
Spyware: Install spyware on your smartphone
There are many applications whose main task is to collect and transmit information from your device to their owners. They can be used to track not only your movements, but also your messages, calls and much more – the specific set of data that spyware can steal can vary. To make matters worse, they often leak this information without any concern for security, so that not only the person who installed the spy on your smartphone can read your WhatsApp messages or track your movements, but also the hacker who intercepted this data.