Apple’s new AirTag is a compact and extremely useful tracking device with long-lasting estimation and precise location capability under the right circumstances.
Unlike a GPS tracker, which typically requires cellular service with high battery consumption, an AirTag relies on the distributed “ Find Me ” network of iPhones, iPads, and Macs that hundreds of millions of people rely on. people carry with them.
There are countless modes of use useful for using AirTags, despite the fact that some of them are not approved by Apple itself, such as using it to locate people or keep animals under control.
So, there are also those who could use them to track people without their consent, which would break the laws. In order to avoid these situations, Apple has implemented a series of security measures.
These come in the form of alerts and information displayed on the screens of your iPhone or iPad, so if you move around and have an AirTag attached without realizing it, you’ll be alerted to its presence.
Now, as Geoffrey Fowler writes in the Washington post and Victoria Song in Gizmodo, these measures do not seem sufficient. It is clear that based on experience, Apple will implement new measures over time, but all that remains is prevention.
How to Configure Your iPhone to Avoid AirTag Tracking
One way or another, everyone with iPhone devices participates in the transmission of information from those devices through the “Search” network. This makes everyone around you potential senders of the signal to AirTags.
However, you can at least opt out, although this will prevent you from tracking your own iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Mac, or AirTag if it’s lost, stolen, or stolen.
In versions with iOS 13 or later, as well as iPadOS 14, go to “ Settings> (account name)> Find My> Find my iPhone / iPad ” and turn off “ Find my network ”.
On macOS 10.15 Catalina or later, go to Apple ID preferences, select the iCloud link on the left, click the “ Options ” button to the right of the “ Find My Mac ” item, and uncheck off line or “ Find my red ” (text varies depending on the version of macOS).
Earlier versions of iOS and macOS include support for the “Search” network.
If you’ve started traveling (now that you can) especially on public transport, other people’s devices will continue to collect and transmit location information on whatever AirTag comes with you. The range of Bluetooth LE is very extensive.
I found that by attaching an AirTag to my parked vehicle, I always had the location while I was driving or climbing stairs, with regular updates on the location from passers-by devices.
How to Use a Bluetooth Scanner to Find AirTags
Since AirTag regularly emits Bluetooth signals that Apple devices can pick up, you can use a simple Bluetooth tracker for iOS or iPadOS to scan the area around you and see if there is an AirTag nearby.
Although these tracking apps cannot identify AirTags as such (the AirTag periodically changes its Bluetooth ID to avoid being traceable), the apps provide you with the appropriate settings. This includes the names of the devices for your broadcasts.
BLE scanner is a limited but free app that provides a list of Bluetooth devices that your iPhone or iPad can detect and offers a mapping feature that roughly ranks them based on the closest signal strength.
This is especially useful if you are checking a car for a hidden AirTag; less indoors when you find that your devices and those of your neighbors are close enough to be recorded.
Normal Bluetooth devices are usually identified generically (such as an “HP OfficeJet Pro 9010 series” printer) or specifically, by the share name of their Mac addresses, iPhones, iPads, Apple TVs, Fitbit trackers, etc.
Another recommended tool is Search for Bluetooth BLE device, which has the benefit of providing more technical details about Bluetooth, allowing you to provide additional clues about legitimate devices and those that aren’t.
Notifications and alerts about your presence
Apple offers two alert systems to help someone know they have an AirTag nearby and it’s not linked to their iCloud account. These alerts occur after a certain amount of time or while you are moving and the AirTag is moving with you.
First, if you have an iPhone or iPad with iOS / iPadOS 14.5 or later, figure out if you’re moving from location to location, just like a Bluetooth ID associated with an AirTag.
If so, you will receive a notification that an AirTag is tracking you instantly and not over time, providing additional information. This includes how long this AirTag is displayed and the streaming locations of your device.
You can choose to turn off “Safety” alerts for one day or, if you are in a “Family Sharing” group with the owner, indefinitely. You can also set a sound to play, an action that occurs via bluetooth.
However, the ID of the Bluetooth device that generates an AirTag and that produced by all devices that are part of the “Search” network changes regularly to avoid becoming a reverse tracking item.
If it was persistent, someone could track your devices based on the anonymous Bluetooth ID, which means it could be located by the presence of your iPhone or iPad.
If you do not scan around you in any way, Apple has also set that after a reasonable period of time you will be notified of the presence of an AirTag which is not associated with your ID.
If you hear an unexpected beep coming from something you’re carrying in your backpack, it’s time to start your search for an AirTag near you. The audio alert ends up being less useful than you might think.
If a stalker or someone else tries to keep tabs on you, they may be within AirTag range at least every three days, with the inducement only if they know you aren’t. do not have an iPhone or iPad in your possession that works with iOS 14.5 or later, they can reset this counter.
The beep emitted is not continuous or particularly loud and can be muted without noticeably blocking the Bluetooth signal.
How to deactivate an AirTag and get its serial number
If you come across an AirTag in your bag claiming to be tracking you, you can safely extract information without actually revealing who placed it there. The AirTag includes NFC, useful both for pairing the device and for allowing any smartphone or tablet with an NFC reader to obtain a device URL.
This includes Android phones and other hardware, as it uses an industry standard for NFC encryption. Following the URL will take you to a page containing the AirTag serial number.
This page can also display a phone number set by the owner if they marked it as lost. The owner is in no way notified that the page is loading, and Apple maintains the owner’s privacy by not providing any direct links.
However, if there is an unwanted trace, the serial number can help you if you take a civil action, want a restraining order, or report it to the police for follow-up.
Since AirTag tracking requires a device pairing, an iCloud account, and an iPhone or iPad connected to the account, anyone who actively follows you will also leave a trail of information stored on their phone, through the cellular network.
Apple uses end-to-end encryption to protect location information sent from an arbitrary device to an iPhone, iPad, or Mac, which must use the “ Find ” app to display it.
But the information is not protected in the same way as on the device. Police and investigators could create a close association of connections and access, as well as show that an AirTag was associated with a specific iPhone or iPad.
This can deter attackers and others from trying to use AirTags in any way to track people or to commit theft or robbery.
Once you’ve found the AirTag and obtained the information you want, you won’t need a hammer or stone to deactivate it. Unlike most Apple hardware, AirTag has a removable battery.
Press it to turn its metal upper part counterclockwise (lift the cover) and remove the battery to complete its operation.
You can verify how to change the AirTag battery.
Original article published in igamesnews United States.