Who’s Tracking My iPhone, And How Do I Protect It?
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Owning an iPhone is like having a personal assistant in your pocket. An iPhone can do practically anything — from helping you with errands to providing entertainment to helping you get from point A to point B. But there’s a catch: It’s likely that your location is shared with more people than you realize.
To see who’s tracking your iPhone at any given moment, navigate to Settings > Apple ID > Find My. People who can see your location will appear there. You can also check which apps have access to your location under Settings > Privacy > Location Services. Consider disabling any you don’t trust.
Want to learn more about who may be tracking your iPhone? Let’s look at the potential ways you’re being tracked as well as the best method to protect yourself from this tracking.
How to Check Who’s Tracking Your iPhone’s Location Through Find My
iPhones have many built-in tracking features. The main one is called Find My, and it allows your family and friends to see your location. But how can you see which people are tracking you at any given moment?
To find out who has access to your location, start by opening the Find My app. Next, tap on the ‘People’ tab on the bottom left-hand side of the screen.
A list should come up in your view. This is the full list of people who have access to your iPhone’s location at that moment.
If you want to stop any of these people from tracking your location, you can click on their name, then select ‘Stop Sharing My Location.’ This will remove them from the list and stop them from having access to your location in the Find My app.
How Can You Tell if Your iPhone Is Being Tracked by Someone Else?
Unfortunately, Find My isn’t the only app that might share your iPhone’s location with someone else. There are actually several ways your iPhone might be tracked.
Start by heading into your phone’s Settings, then clicking on your Apple ID. Here you will come up with a menu of several of the ways your iPhone could be tracked.
Go to the ‘Find My’ tab to see if ‘Share My Location’ is enabled. If so, people can see your device from Find My as well as through other apps. Additionally, if ‘Family Sharing’ is enabled, anyone on your family plan can also see the location of your phone.
It’s recommended to disable Find My and Family Sharing if you wish the location of your iPhone to remain private.
There are also apps that track your iPhone’s location. They can be installed and hidden on your phone in ways that make them impossible to find. There are so many of these apps (and their names are always changing) that they can’t all be listed here.
Which Apps Are Tracking My Location?
Your iPhone’s base software isn’t the only thing tracking your location; several of the applications you have installed may be tracking your location as well. Usually, you have to give these apps permission to track you when you install them, but sometimes you may forget that you did or change your mind about sharing your location with them.
To find out exactly which of your apps are tracking you, go into Settings and select ‘Privacy.’ Then click ‘Location Services.’
Here, you’ll see each app that is permitted to access your location data. While some apps, like Maps, need your location to work properly, chances are a lot of the apps you see on this screen don’t need to use your location.
If you want to stop a certain app from using your location, click on it in this menu and change your selection. Most apps have an option to only share your location while using the app, always, or never.
Another way to tell when an app uses your location data is to look at the upper left-hand corner of the screen when you open the app. If a blue bubble appears around the clock, then the app you have open is currently using your location.
How to Protect Your iPhone From Being Tracked
Realizing just how many apps and people can see the location of your iPhone can be scary, especially if there’s someone (or some company) you’d prefer didn’t have that information. The good news is that there are ways to protect your iPhone from being tracked.
Disable Share My Location
The best way to keep your iPhone from being tracked is to completely disable ‘Share My Location.’ While this will stop your family and friends from seeing your location, it will also prevent other people from seeing your location as well.
Watch for Signs That You’re Being Tracked
Turning off ‘Share My Location’ will stop most Apple-based tracking, but it won’t stop someone from installing spy apps on your phone.
Keep an eye peeled for signs that you might be being tracked, such as a sudden spike in your data usage one month or the blue bar letting you know your location is being used appearing at odd times.
If you notice either of these signs, it’s best to seek professional help to get the potential spy app removed from your phone.
Only Share Your Location When Necessary
Installing a spy app isn’t the only way to track your location; it’s possible for friends who follow you on social media to see your location through posts on the app. To keep yourself safe from tracking, it’s best to only share your location with the Maps apps and any other apps that need your location to function properly.
Otherwise, don’t take the chance and simply disable all of your applications from using your location.
Final Thoughts on Who’s Tracking Your iPhone
Overall, it’s tough to say just how many people might be tracking your iPhone. From friends and family to even random strangers that own apps, any number of people may have access to your location.
Therefore, it’s best to take the time to check to see which people and apps have access to your location and disable anyone and any app you don’t trust from being able to access it. This way, you can maintain your privacy no matter where you go.