When it comes to travel, AirTags™ are clutch. They're small Apple® devices that use Bluetooth® technology to help you keep track of your belongings—from luggage to keys to even your wallet. Cool, right?
But there can be a dark side to these devices. What happens if someone uses an AirTag to track you or your loved ones without your consent? It's happened to a number of people. Fortunately, there are some simple ways to stay safe.
That's where we come in. At Asurion, we not only help fix and protect your tech—we teach you digital security tips to help keep your information safe and secure. Here's how to know if you're being tracked by an AirTag and if so, how to stop it.
How to know if you're being tracked by an AirTag
Like AirPods® and other Apple devices, AirTags work with the Find My® app, which lets you see your devices moving with you. If the app picks up a device that doesn't belong to you, Apple will let you know in one of two ways:
- A sound. An AirTag that isn't with its owner for a period of time will emit a sound when it's moved.
- A notification. Find My will send a notification if you have an iPhone®, iPad®, or iPod touch® with iOS® or iPadOS® 14.5 or later.
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How to set up your phone to get AirTag notifications
Knowing that Apple® has ways for you to know if you are being tracked is great, but you have to set your phone up to get these alerts.
To get tracking notification alerts on your iPhone, make sure that you:
- Go to Settings > Privacy & Security > Location Services, and turn Location Services on.
- Scroll to the bottom of the page and tag System Services. Turn Find My iPhone and Significant Locations on.
- Go to Settings > Bluetooth and turn Bluetooth on.
- Open the Find My app. Tap Me at the bottom, and turn Tracking Notifications on.
- Turn off airplane mode. If your device is in airplane mode, you won't get tracking notifications.
If you use an Android™ device, you can download the Tracker Detect app to get notifications if an unknown AirTag is tracking you.
What types of alerts are there?
There are different kinds of AirTag alerts you might see depending on the situation.
AirTag Found Moving With You. The Find My app sees an AirTag that isn't yours at your exact location—or moving along with you as you travel.
AirPods Detected, AirPods Pro Detected, or AirPods Max Detected. The Find My app sees a pair of AirPods that aren't yours at your exact location—or moving along with you as you travel.
"Product Name" Detected. The Find My app has found a non-Apple device moving with you over time. The product name you'll see in the alert will reflect the name of the device.
Unknown Accessory Detected. The Find My app has found AirPods or another device, but the app is having trouble connecting to them or to the server at that time.
What do you do if you see an alert?
If you see an alert on your device, the owner of that device might be able to track its—and your—location. Before you start to worry, think about whether a family member or a friend could have brought their own AirTag with them for the ride.
If it doesn't seem to be a false alarm, avoid driving home. Instead, head to a highly populated area. Then check your Find My app to see if you can play a sound from the device that's tracking you. Tap the alert or item > Continue > Play Sound. Listen for the sound and try to find the AirTag.
Need a safe place to go to? Head to your nearest police station so that you'll feel protected.
How to stop an AirTag from tracking you?
If you were able to find that AirTag, you can turn it off. Before you do, though, be sure to take note of the AirTag serial number and the phone number associated with it. You can send this information to law enforcement. After you've turned off the AirTag, you won't be able to access this information.
Once you've saved this information, you can turn off an AirTag with these steps:
- Push down and twist counterclockwise on the back of the AirTag.
- Take the cover off and remove the battery. With the battery removed, the device can't send its location to its owner.