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What Are Location Services?
Location services, sometimes called location sharing, use your phone’s GPS connection to pinpoint your device and tell you where it is. Location services sometimes also use Bluetooth, cellular, and Wi-Fi connections to work out your phone’s location.
Many apps use location services to perform their function and enhance user experience. A good example is Uber, which uses your location to connect you to nearby drivers.
However, apps like Find My on iPhone and Find My Device on Android can also use location services to find your phone, for example, if it is lost or stolen. These can be helpful tools if you’ve misplaced your device, but cyberstalkers may also abuse these services to track your location.
These apps also allow you to link your device with those belonging to other family members or friends. These are known as connected devices.
Spyware and stalkerware apps can also use location services in order to continually share your location with a hacker, allowing them to track your whereabouts.
Image by Freepik
Location tracking on cell phones is often an unsettling thought, largely due to its potential implications on personal privacy and security. In many cases, the leading culprit behind such a scenario is spyware.
These malicious applications are designed to surreptitiously keep tabs on your whereabouts by exploiting the GPS capabilities of your device.
However, as clandestine as these activities may seem, your phone could exhibit certain signs that may hint at the presence of such intrusive software.
1. Increased battery drainage
Spyware often forces your phone to run hidden processes in the background. This unexpected activity strains your device’s battery as it consistently sends gathered data over your cellular connection, resulting in noticeably increased battery drain.
Additional activity induced by spyware not only puts pressure on the battery but could also lead to the device overheating. If your phone seems unusually hot, this could potentially indicate spyware operation.
3. Suspicious apps
To effectively track your location, malicious entities might trick you into downloading a rogue app, or stealthily install one when your phone is unattended. Be vigilant for any unfamiliar applications on your device. If you come across such apps, it’s advisable to run a thorough scan using trusted anti-spyware tools like Certo AntiSpy for iPhone or Certo Mobile Security for Android.
4. Random restarts
Spyware apps may require rebooting your phone to install updates or due to poor design causing system instability. Should your device shut down or restart without any apparent reason, it could be another telltale sign of tracking activity.
Fig 3. Certo Mobile Security for Android
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can someone see your location if your phone is in airplane mode?
Airplane mode turns off all wireless connections on the device, including any tracking or monitoring services that rely on a data connection. This means that your location cannot be tracked in real-time.
Can you still track your iPhone if it’s battery is dead?
If an iPhone’s battery is empty, then it is impossible for anyone—including law enforcement—to physically track the device. However, if you have the Find My app active, then your phone will ping Apple’s servers shortly before it powers down, meaning that anyone with access to the device’s Apple ID account can view the device’s last known location.
How can I track my mobile location when my phone is switched off?
If you have lost your mobile device and it is switched off, you can still find it based on its last known location. If you have an Apple device, you can use the Find My app or use the Find My iPhone service on iCloud. If you have an Android device, you can use Find My Device at www.android.com/find.