AirTag: what it is and how to find out if it is tracking us
AirTag has gone from a useful device for those who own it to a tracking device comparable to a GPS, but how can we understand if it is tracking us?
Apple AirTag is a very useful device that helps us keep track of our most cherished objects, such as wallets, keys, bicycles, etc. The problem arises when we started using this device to track people without their consent.
This is why Apple has made some changes significant changes to AirTag to address privacy and security issues and ensure that owners use the device correctly, among the various changes there is also the ability to detect when an AirTag moves with you.
An AirTag can travel with you and send your tracking data to the owner of the device, whether it’s yours and whether you have an iPhone or not.
An AirTag doesn’t have GPS, instead it uses the Find App network of nearly two billion iPhones, iPads, Apple Watches, and Macs. It sends an anonymous Bluetooth signal that can be detected by any of the devices mentioned as long as they are within a 10 meter radius. These devices will send the location of the AirTag to the iCloud, which will allow users to see it in their app.
If you have an AirTag then you also have an iPhone or Android phone with the Tracker Detect app installed, if you suspect someone is tracking your movements using an AirTag, your iPhone may alert you.
But let’s go into more detail.
If you have an iPhone and an AirTag is tracking you, your phone may alert you to an “AirTag found moving with you.” This happens if these points are true:
- The AirTag is separate from its owner.
- Your iPhone is active.
- The AirTag makes a sound when moved.
If you are suspicious and are not receiving an alert of an unknown AirTag nearby, you may need to check that tracking notifications are turned on and then follow these steps:
- Go to Settings and select Privacy .
- Tap Location Services and turn on Location Services .
- Go to System Services .
- Turn on both Find My iPhone and Significant Locations .
- Go back to Settings and select Bluetooth .
- Turn on Bluetooth .
- Finally, go to the Find My app and tap on yourself.
- Turn on tracking notifications .
When AirTags are separated from their owners they emit a sound to make it easier to find them. If you hear an AirTag or other sound that you don’t recognize but think might be an AirTag, you can open the Find My app on your device and see if a device other than yours has been found nearby.
Check your belongings for your hidden AirTag, making sure to touch jackets and bags and carefully checking trouser, purse and wallet pockets.
You checked the App after being alerted that an AirTag was following you, you want to make sure it’s not yours, you can tap Play sound on device to find it more easily.
Similar to how you would track your AirTag, you can go to the app by tapping your iPhone’s alert, then tap Continue and then Find Nearby.
The Play a sound option only works if the Apple device paired with the AirTag is not nearby, within range. The precision search feature is only available on iPhone 11, 12, 13 and 14 with iPhone technology. ultra-wide band.
If you can’t play a sound from the app, there’s a good chance that the unknown AirTag is no longer nearby and your iPhone can’t find it.
Once you have found the AirTag, you can use your iPhone, or any other NFC-enabled smartphone, to check the information. Simply hold the top of your phone close to the white side of the found AirTag and wait for it to recognize it.
A notification will appear when the NFC is scanned, the notification takes you to a website that will have the serial number of the AirTag and the last four digits of the owner’s phone number.
If it’s a lost AirTag, the owner may have added their information so they can be contacted.
In case you have found an AirTag that is not yours, to prevent it from sending your position again you can disable it, this means that the owner can no longer see the current position of the device or receive updates.
To disable the AirTag, you just need to remove the battery. You can do this by pushing down and rotating the cover counterclockwise to open the AirTag and then take out the battery.