Phone Tracking - How to Deal with It?
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Do you want to know how your mobile device tracks you in every way? It's not a short list, so take a few deep breaths and relax. If you don't live submerged with lanternfish, you're probably already aware that much of your personal information is constantly being collected. Though, you might not be as informed about the various intricate methods by which data is collected or what tends to happen to it all afterwards.
This varies depending on the circumstances where it goes. Some of it is saved for a while and then discarded, while some are saved for a while. It is frequently employed to train algorithms. Large quantities are bought or sold. It is sometimes employed in niche advertisements for companies.
Political parties use it in other places to gain an advantage in the upcoming election. In some cases, government agencies are even given access to the data.
You might believe that a large portion of this collection of data can't possibly be harmful. Who cares what soccer team you support or what web pages you browse when you're bored, after all? However, when these ostensibly unimportant data points are merged with the other data that tech giants have gathered through their different services, it begins to add to detailed profiles.
The outcomes can be pretty disturbing when taken in conjunction with data that has been exchanged, shared, or purchased from other businesses. These systems can track your eating habits, voting preferences, favourite shows, and other information. The implications of this kind of pervasive surveillance are alarming and strongly Orwellian.
What is Phone Tracking?
Mobile phone tracking is a complex web of many intricate mechanisms and many entities. We have roughly organized our investigation according to who is gathering the data, even though it is difficult to bring order to such a jumbled mess of data collection:
- Network service provider
- Your operating system and phone manufacturer
- Third parties and your applications
- Governmental bodies
There were fewer than 3.7 billion users worldwide just five years ago, in 2016. That figure has now risen to 6.6 billion by 2021. Nowadays, we don't just use our smartphones for entertainment; much of our work environment also necessitates some method of communication, primarily through mobile devices. Phones hold valuable information and a decent street value in the eyes of muggers and corporate data hackers, making phone theft very lucrative.
Whether your company has ten employees or ten thousand, your employees are most likely using their mobile phones to connect for work and access company information. The security of mobile devices with access to sensitive data, such as laptops, mobile phones, and tablets, is a top priority. Phone location tracking becomes even more important if you provide your employees with company-owned smartphones. This is why a software suite allows you to do a lot from one place efficiently and effectively, retrieving stolen or lost company property and information. Learn more about monitoring employee phones, the best types of location tracking programs, and how to do it all lawfully in this blog.
How Is It Possible To Track Switched-Off Phones?
In the first scenario, the attacker could invade your phone with hardware spying devices. These attacks are unlikely unless you're up against a skilled threat actor because they would require physical access to your device. It is very challenging for you to keep your security against your adversary if they are ready and able to go to such lengths.
If this were to happen to you and you knew what to look for, opening the phone might allow you to see the listening device inside. But it is much more likely that your attacker will choose the more straightforward option and use malware.
If this happened in your case and you knew what to look for, opening the phone might allow you to see the tracking device inside. However, it is much more likely that the hacker will choose the more straightforward option and spy on you by using malware.
This strategy would allow an attacker to remotely infect your phone without ever having to touch it. If they did this and you tried to turn the phone off afterwards, it might pretend to shut down while still being active and snooping on you.
It should be noted that even though phones display a low battery warning, their batteries haven't wholly discharged. Most smartphones will show you an animation to tell you when your battery is dead, so you can tell. If it were down, it wouldn't be possible to do this. A phone may still be capable of sending signals under specific conditions because there is still some battery life.
What Defences Survive Against Mobile Data Tracking?
The best course of action is to locate the closest river and throw your mobile phone into its gloomy depths. The majority of smartphones are dreadful for maintaining your privacy. It all comes down to how poorly designed smartphone ecosystems are for privacy, much worse than those of computers.
However, very few of us will give up the connectivity and convenience provided by our smartphones and move out into the wilderness. Giving up our smartphones ultimately would be extremely difficult for most of us because they have become integral parts of our social and professional lives.
What options do we have, then?
Your only feasible option is to take action to protect your privacy since most of the world won't likely have any reasonable regulatory protection measures against the privacy violations caused by smartphones for a very long time.
How to prevent mobile data tracking is as follows:
Reduce Your Use Of Smartphones
Start by avoiding mobiles as much as is practical. Use a computer and a dumbphone if you can get by without them. Make sure that only emergencies are texted or called in, and take care of everything else while sitting at your computer.
If a mobile phone is necessary, leave it at the apartment when not in use. Restrict the number of apps you have on it and restrict the information to which it has access.
Use A Phone Or Operating System That Prioritizes Privacy.
If you wish to limit data collection, phones like the Librem 5 are a good option because they have privacy in mind. These, however, are comparatively small businesses that lack the development and research budgets and economies of scale that many mainstream competitors do. Even though these privacy-focused businesses generally do good work, these restrictions frequently lead to phones that are bulkier, less feature-rich, and more costly than their rivals.
Use Apps That Prioritize Privacy
The good news is that several apps significantly increase privacy protection over those you may be accustomed to:
- Google Chrome or Safari should be substituted with Firefox or the Tor browser. Although Tor does support Onion Browser, there is no authorized Tor browser for iOS. Use Startpage or DuckDuckGo for search queries. If you use Mozilla Firefox as your default browser, add-ons like HTTPS Everywhere and uBlock can help secure it further.
- Use MAPS.ME rather than Google Maps as your mapping solution.
- Utilize NewPipe rather than YouTube.
Reset Your Advertising ID And Restrict Ad Tracking.
By selecting Google from the Settings menu and then clicking on Ads, you can restrict ad tracking on Android. You can opt-out of Ad Personalization by sliding the menu and clicking to Reset your advertising ID from this menu.
On iOS, you can accomplish the same thing by selecting Limit Ad Tracking under Settings > Privacy > Advertising. Resetting your advertising identifier is another option.
Do Not Browse Without A VPN
VPNs can help you conceal your identity by hiding the source of your traffic. It would help if you still exercise caution when using them, though. Your IP address might be made public if your VPN connection is lost and you don't have a killswitch to break the connection. While VPNs are excellent at securing your data from ISPs, they cannot prevent websites from identifying you through browser fingerprinting.
Use a trustworthy company, ideally one from our list of the best VPNs, that keeps no logs. Free VPNs should be avoided because they might offload your data or contain malware.
Secure All Of Your Accounts' Settings
Companies started introducing finer-grained privacy settings in response to Europe's historic General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which was introduced in 2018. These changes gave users back at least some control over their data. These exist at every major tech company, including Amazon, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter, and countless other businesses that store your information.
These tools may be challenging to use and may not allow you to restrict all data collection forms. Still, they can help you significantly reduce the information these businesses retain about you. They are typically located in the app or website's privacy settings.
Why Is Tracking Employee Cell Phones Necessary?
Employee turnover in the United States is expected to reach 20% by 2022. High turnover rates at companies like AFLAC, Amazon, and Google may be suitable for employability. Still, they can give data security employees nightmares because companies are constantly hiring and training young and new end users during off-boarding old ones.
During high employee turnover and change, ensuring you've protected your data and gathered all your loaned company equipment can be overwhelming. That's where a phone tracking app comes in handy. Some of the more significant advantages of a cohesive business phone location program are as follows:
According to the FBI, 70 million mobile phones are lost every year. Furthermore, 4.3% of corporate-issued mobile phones are nicked each year. In addition, 52% of devices are stolen at work, with another 24% stolen at conferences.
IT and physical security staff can use software that provides various types of mobile phone location tracking to know precisely where an employee's cell phone is located if it leaves a facility or particular area and the ability to lock a device if any dubious activity is detected remotely. This is more effective than attempting to locate a stolen or lost mobile phone through other means.
We should also think about rogue employees who steal company assets. It is essential for technical enterprises client - focused and handle sensitive business or personal data that is legally protected by having practices in place to safeguard against data leaks - including those caused by worst-case scenarios.
Tracking The Location Of Employees
While this may sound a little like big brother, a company with an agile approach can significantly benefit from knowing where its workers are during work hours. Location software, like GPS tracking for law enforcement vehicles, can aid in deployment management and response times to urgent issues in the field.
Tracking an employee's cell phone allows you to locate them in an emergency, such as a weather alert or other natural disaster.
Monitoring Employee Performance
Managers can delve deeper into how much their workers fixate on work if they have the authorization to track worker emails and communications, especially during hectic and crucial times for their industry.
Improving Data Security
Whenever a phone is stolen, at least 80% of its value is in the data accessible through that device. Companies can use phone location tracking software to delete user credentials and prevent access to online accounts or banking login information.
Protecting Against Insider Threats
As any retail company can attest, loss prevention begins at home. Once an employee becomes dissatisfied or manipulates information that violates company policies, tracking software can notify professionals of unusual activity, such as access to sensitive or need-to-know folders, even after hours.
Protection Against Data Loss
A corporate policy can be incorporated into mobile device security. Setting organization security policies on all devices, such as using the lock screen feature and apps that require 2FA login credentials every time they are accessed, can help with data loss prevention.
Phone security software can restrict an end user's installation of mobile applications onto a company's device, removing the possibility of malicious activities or viruses.
A leading enterprise phone location tracking system will enable your company's staff to stop device theft, track staff members' devices both actively and passively, improve data security, reduce data leaks, and protect against insider threats.
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