How do you know if you are being tracked by AirTag?

An airtag (Getty Images via Melina Mara/The Washington Post)

The Apple AirTag They are an amazing invention. Thanks to them, you can know the position on the map of any object to which they are connected. For example, house keys, wallet or suitcase. Its performance is excellent. Airtags emit a signal that is amplified by nearby iPhone phones, thanks to which the object appears on the map.

But there’s a problem with AirTags: If someone puts them in your car or your bag or purse, that person can know where you are. Is there a way to avoid being tracked by AirTags? Yes. Wired Here’s a list of tricks to avoid it.

Signs that an airtag is tracking you

The type of smartphone you own affects how easily you can spot hidden AirTags. Owners of iPhones running iOS 14.5 or later should receive a push alert when an unknown AirTag is near and far from its owner for an extended period of time. The exact moment when this warning is triggered is not specified on the Apple website.

Owners of newer iPhones should check the settings to make sure Bluetooth is turned on and receiving notifications. In Settings, go to Privacy & Security and enable Location Services. Scroll to the bottom of the page, tap System Services, and turn on Find My iPhone. Also, find the Find My iPhone app, visit ‘Me’ in the lower-right corner, and tap Customize Follow Notifications to check if notifications are enabled.

By clicking on the iPhone alert, an unauthorized airtag will give you the option to play a sound on the airtag to help detect it. If your iPhone is running iOS 16.2 or later, you can use precise location data to find a hidden device.

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How to detect AirTag with Android

A few months after the release of AirTag, Apple released the Tracker Detect app for Android phones. Unlike the security features on the iPhone, the Android app doesn’t automatically search for unknown air tags. Users should initiate a search.

Millions of Americans still don’t own a smartphone. Without a device in hand, you’ll have to rely on visual and auditory clues to find hidden airtags. A circular white disc slightly larger than a quarter.

When the AirTag was first issued, the tracker would beep if it left the owner for more than three days. Apple has reduced that time to 24 hours or less. Despite the update, you shouldn’t rely on sound alone to detect airtags.

What if I find an airtag?

The best way to disable AirTag is to remove the battery. To do this, turn the AirTag so that the metal side with the Apple logo is facing you. Press the logo and turn counterclockwise. Now you can remove the cover and take out the battery.

The Apple support page Airtag advises you to go to the police if you think you are in danger. “If you believe your safety is at risk, please contact your local police so they can work with Apple to request information related to the item,” the support page says. “You may need to provide your AirTag, AirPods, Find My Network partner and device serial number.” One way to find the serial number is to hold the top of the iPhone or other smartphone close to the white area of ​​the AirTag with Near Field Communication. A web page will appear with the serial number.

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This page may also include the area phone number of the person who owns the tracking device. If you’re reluctant or don’t have the ability to scan the AirTag, the device will have a serial number printed under the battery.

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Misty Tate

"Freelance twitter advocate. Hardcore food nerd. Avid writer. Infuriatingly humble problem solver."

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