How to Make Sure No One Is Tracking You With an AirTag
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Bluetooth trackers can be used to find lost stuff—but they can also be used to follow people without their knowledge.
Apple’s AirTags and Samsung’s SmartTags this year joined an already crowded Bluetooth tracker market. These little devices attach to key rings, backpacks, and luggage or can be tucked inside a bag or attached to any other possession you’re afraid to lose, sending you alerts when it leaves your side and even enabling you to track down its last known location on a map.
Useful, right? But there are also very valid concerns about how these gadgets can be used to track people. The most common trackers made by Apple, Tile, etc. don’t have built-in GPS, so they can’t send out a constant beacon with their location, but they can be reported as lost, at which point other phones are enlisted anonymously to find them.
If you’re concerned that someone is trying to track you, another approach is a decidedly more manual one: Check your bags, coat pockets, car seats, and other places where a tracker might be surreptitiously hidden. Technology has made it much easier for stalkers, abusers, and other predators to track and terrorize victims, and until there’s a better solution, a stop-gap combination of apps and awareness will hopefully keep you safe.