Your smartphone can be tracked by anyone if you're not careful... here's how to prevent it !

Your smartphone can be tracked by anyone if you're not careful... here's how to prevent it !

Almost everyone carries their phone with them at all times. This allows you to be tracked every step of the way – unless you take steps to stop it.

When an app requests your location data, it may seem normal at first glance. However, this data can be used by unauthorized individuals to track your phone, even anonymously. Even if your phone has been tracked, it doesn't necessarily mean you've been careless with your data. Criminals use various methods to discreetly locate mobile phones. There are various ways of anonymously tracking a phone, three of them are explained here.

  • Services for phone tracking: Some services allow phone tracking after registration. An SMS is sent to the phone to be located, and you must respond to activate tracking. Mobile service providers can also determine your location within 100 meters using "silent SMS" without your knowledge.
  • Phone tracking through apps: A specific app must be installed to determine the location.
  • Spy apps: These apps are designed for phone tracking, disguised as other applications. They are hard to remove from your smartphone. Therefore, be cautious and install new apps only from trustworthy sources, preferably official app stores.

But how does phone tracking work? Smartphones are mainly tracked when hackers have access to GPS data. Your location can then be determined with precision, down to ten meters. If criminals know you're not at home, they might find it easier to break in – while not a very likely scenario, it is possible. People close to you might also have a motive to track your device.

Note that any phone tracking without the owner's consent is illegal and a severe invasion of privacy. Only the police are allowed to track other people's phones, and only in specific cases, such as crime investigation or locating stolen smartphones.

There are various measures to protect yourself from phone surveillance. Simple settings can prevent someone from tracking your phone:

  • Determine location sharing individually for each app; do not grant general permission.
  • Grant location permission only when urgently needed for app usage (e.g., Google Maps).
  • Use a secure method to unlock your phone so that strangers (or people close to you) cannot easily install spy apps on your device.
  • If you don't want to be tracked at all, turning off the phone is the only solution; this will also prevent silent SMS from the provider.

Above all, always pay attention to the permissions apps request when you want to install them. If location sharing is unnecessary for the application's function, be skeptical.