Our smartphones today contain pretty much all of our personal information. Much of it is very valuable to hackers, who continue to develop ingenious ways to steal your data. If you’ve ever wondered whether hackers can track your location or not, then the answer, unfortunately, is yes.
They use various techniques and strategies to learn your whereabouts, ranging from IP tracing to deceiving you into revealing personal information.
In this article, we’ll look at some of the methods hackers use to get access to your location, along with some tips on how you can protect your online security.
How Hackers Track Your Location
The location services on your phone, which many apps have access to if you’ve given them permission, are supposed to improve the user experience. They allow apps to provide information that’s specific to your region, for example weather updates, news, and restaurant recommendations.
But hackers can exploit vulnerabilities in apps and gain unauthorized access to your location data. This usually happens if you download third-party apps from unreliable sources, something that’s more common among Android users than those using iOS.
These apps often contain malware and spyware that track your activities across other apps, enabling hackers to get access to a significant amount of your data.
This is just one method hackers employ to obtain your location. Here are a few more:
1. Phishing Scams
Cybercriminals often create fake websites specifically to lure you into revealing your sensitive data when you provide that info there. These sites have forms where users can enter their personal information including their address or password to name a few including their credit card details.
When you fill in the forms, your private details go directly to the people who make those web pages and they will use this data for their own nefarious intentions.
2. IP Address
Your IP address can give hackers information about where you live since it’s tied to your home network. But how would a hacker get access to your IP address? Pretty much every site you visit is able to see your IP address.
If you open a link sent from an unknown person, then you risk revealing your IP address to them. Anyone who has access to your phone or computer can easily see it as well. Hackers can then use this information to identify the region associated with your IP address.
3. Public Information
A lot of your information is available publicly. This is especially true if you have public social media profiles on platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Hackers can easily gather your personal information with a quick Google search and use it to get more details.
We recommend using a reverse address lookup site to see what information of yours is publicly accessible. You can then remove this information to boost your privacy.
Tips on How to Improve Your Online Security
- Now that we looked at ways the hacker will get to track your location, let’s take a look at ways of stopping this from occurring. Here are some tips:
- Don’t open suspicious links. If someone sends you any message (even that) from an unidentified person, do not open it! It may be a scammer attempting to get your details.
- The next step is to use a VPN to mask your real IP address. Using a good VPN can simple make you fake an IP address and give you different safety options to protect your traffic online.
- Connecting to a free public Wi-Fi might change your IP address, too, but the FBI recommends against it as it’s not safe. It can give unauthorized access to hackers.
- Make sure you don’t share your address online. If you do find something that you don’t want others to see, get in touch with the site that has it and request them to remove it. If you own a small business, you have to ensure that you don’t share your personal address on Google and other sites.
- Don’t fill out forms that ask you to enter confidential information such as your credit card details and passwords, especially if it’s from someone you don’t know or trust.
Hide Your Location From Hackers
There you have it. You’re now equipped with deeper insights into some of the methods hackers use to track people’s location. Using this information, you can actively do something to keep your personal details hidden and safe from prying eyes.
Just make sure you don’t open any suspicious links and always ensure that any request for personal information such as your address, passwords, and bank details come from a trusted source.