if-location-services-are-disabled-can-my-phone-still-be-tracked

If location services are disabled, can my phone still be tracked?

It is easy to track a smartphone. But can it still be done without using location services? It's scary to think that someone could track your every move, regardless if it's your employer or government.

Every smartphone on the market today has built-in location services, which can be used to reveal your location data. What if you don't want your location data to be shared with anyone? Is it possible to track your location data even if you have disabled location services from your phone? Continue reading to learn if your phone can still be tracked if you disable location services.

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Is it possible to track your phone if location services are off?

It is possible to turn off location services from your phone, which will make it impossible to trace. However, this is not always true. There are still other ways your device can be tracked.

It is fair to say that turning off your device's built-in location services does an excellent job of hiding your location. Trackers can also use other techniques and technologies to locate your device, regardless of whether location services are enabled.

How to Track iPhone if Location is Turned Off (Simple Steps), Source: Youtube, My Phone Locater

You can track your phone using four methods, even without GPS

It is possible to disable location services on your phone to hide your location, but it is only a partial solution. Even with location services disabled, other technologies and methods can be used to track your phone. Let's look at some of these below.

1. Cell Carrier Towers

Yeah. They're everywhere. Cell phone carriers can track your phone's position by identifying the towers connected to it and measuring how long it takes for a signal to travel around the buildings to reach your phone. This delay is then converted into a distance or range that returns an accurate location of your phone.

This is because your phone, when on, remains in constant communication with nearby cell towers.

2. Public Wi-Fi Networks

These days, accessible Wi-Fi networks are viral. These networks are everywhere and can be tempting when you have slow Internet. Here's the catch: even with location services disabled, public Wi-Fi networks can track your device's location.

Stay safe on public Wi-Fi, Source: Youtube, Windows Community

Most free Wi-Fi providers will request your device's media access control (MAC address) address in exchange for a connection. Providers may use your phone's MAC to log the places you visit when connecting with another hotspot.

3. StingRays

StingRays, also known as cell-site simulators, function similarly to cell towers, but their sole purpose is to track your phone and not provide you with a network connection.

StingRays simulate a cell tower and allow mobile devices near connect to it. StingRays are used mainly by law enforcement to locate devices within a particular area. They emit stronger signals than cell towers. This forces mobile phones to disconnect and connect to legitimate cell towers instead.

4. Spyware and malware

Even if your GPS is off, pre-installed malware could still be used to track your device. It also can access your system via a backdoor.

What's the Difference: Computer Virus vs Malware, vs Spyware, etc?, Source: Youtube, ThioJoe 

Skygofree malware tracks where it is installed and disguises it to appear as an update to increase internet speed.

Skygofree, once installed, tracks the location of the device, turns on audio recording, and controls Wi-Fi networks. You may want to protect your privacy or for security reasons.

5. Turn off Wi-Fi in Public Places

Many smartphones have the option to choose Wi-Fi networks as their preferred connection. There may have been times when your smartphone switched between mobile data and Wi-Fi networks. If your Wi-Fi is always connected, this can happen quite often.

You can prevent your phone from automatically connecting to Wi-Fi networks that collect location data by disabling it when you are in public places.

 

Stop your cell carrier from tracking your phone's location

As you probably know, none of these tips can prevent your phone from being followed by your service provider. There is an explanation.

This is because your phone must constantly communicate with nearby cell towers to function correctly. You can stop your phone from being tracked by your carrier by turning it off and taking out the battery.

How to Stop your Phone from Tracking You, Source: Youtube, Rob Braxman Tech

This is the only way to ensure your device isn't being tracked. Anybody trying to track your device once it has been turned off will only be capable of tracing it back to its original location before it was switched on. This should not be your residence address.

Is it possible to track my phone if the location services are disabled?

It's easy to track a smartphone. It is possible to follow a smartphone even if location services are disabled.

It is scary to imagine that anyone could follow your every move, whether they are your employer or the government.

Today, each smartphone comes with built-in location services that can reveal your exact location. What if your location data is not to be shared with others? It is possible to track your location data even though you have turned off location services on your phone.

Continue reading to find out if your phone can still be tracked even if location services are disabled.

If location services aren't available, is it possible to track your smartphone?

This is not always the case. You can still track your device in other ways.

You can hide your location by turning off the device's built-in location services. 

There are four ways that your phone can be tracked even without GPS

Although it is possible to disable the location service on your phone to hide where you are, this is not a complete solution. You can track your phone using other technologies, even if location services are disabled. Let's take a look at some of them below. Cell Carrier Towers

Yeah. They're everywhere. This is converted into a distance or range, which returns the exact location of your phone.

This is because your phone remains in constant communication with nearby cell towers.

Public Wi-Fi Networks

Accessible Wi-Fi networks have become a huge hit. These networks can be very appealing for those with slow Internet connections. The catch is that even with location services, disabled public Wi-Fi networks can track the location of your device.

Most free Wi-Fi providers will ask for your device's media access controller (MAC address) to establish a connection. Providers might use your phone's MAC address to log where you go when connecting with another hotspot.

StingRays (also known as cell-site simulators) function similarly to cell towers but have one purpose: to track your phone and provide no network connection.

Security Dangers of Public Wi-Fi, Source: Youtube, Kaspersky 

StingRays is a cell tower simulation that allows mobile devices to connect to it. StingRays can be used by law enforcement to locate gadgets in a specific area. They emit stronger signals than cell towers. Mobile phones are forced to disconnect from legitimate cell towers and instead connect to them.

You can determine the exact location of your phone by measuring how long it takes for the signal to reach the StingRay, just like a legitimate cell tower.

Pre-installed malware can still track your device even if your GPS is disabled. This malware can most likely gain access to your device via a Trojan horse. You can also allow it to access your system through a backdoor.

Skygofree malware monitors where it's installed and disguises itself to appear as an upgrade to improve internet speed.

Skygofree, once installed, tracks the device's position, turns on audio recording, and controls Wi-Fi networks. It can also manage Viber and Skype, Viber, Whatsapp.

Avoid downloading from unknown sites

Only use official websites to download apps. It is possible to disable installation from third-party sites. Monitoring your download sites is the best method to prevent them.

You can also install antivirus software to protect your computer from malicious files and files, suspicious websites, and other potentially dangerous links.

Check App Permissions

All apps require specific permissions to function correctly. Avoid requesting permissions that are not necessary. It could indicate that an app asks for more information than it needs.

How to Manage App Permissions on Android 10, Source: Youtube, Hands-On Android

Uninstall any app that requests more permissions than necessary. You can find replacement apps in the app store if you are forced to use the function.

Conclusion

This is the only way to ensure your device isn't being tracked. Anybody who attempts to track your device will be able to trace it back to its original location before it is turned off. This should not be your residence address.

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