“How do I keep my phone from disclosing my location? I’ve tried several ‘solutions’ but none of them work.”
Working with small business owners and solopreneurs, I often hear a litany of online security concerns.
One of them stems from the fact that smartphones track you even after you’ve disabled location services. As a matter of fact, even when they’re turned off, smartphones transmit their location.
How do I keep my phone from disclosing my location?
Sure, you can choose from a variety of Faraday bags that purport to dampen your phone’s connectivity. Some of them work, others don’t. Many of those products work to a certain extent.
However, what if you want a do-it-yourself solution that blocks WiFi, GPS, and cellular connectivity?
Many people believe that putting their phone inside a microwave oven prevents it from communicating with the outside world.
The thinking is that microwaves are designed to seal in high-frequency radiation, so they should block signals associated with WiFi, cellular, and GPS transmissions. They don’t.
Of course this is a generalization. I’ve not tested every microwave oven on the planet. In other words, this may work with some microwaves, but if it does, it’s the exception, not the rule.
Turn on your phone, put your phone in the microwave (don’t turn the oven on, OK?) and call it. You’re going to hear it ring. Track it using a phone-finder app, and you’ll be able to locate it every time.
One of the biggest myths is that you can secure a smartphone by wrapping it in one or more layers of aluminum foil.
Go ahead. Try it! At first, you’ll think that it works because your phone will stop ringing when it’s called.
However, this method will not prevent your phone from transmitting its location.
A metal ammo can
It’s all over the internet. Simply drop your phone into an ammo can and it will stop communicating with WiFi, LTE, and GPS networks. I guess “they” fooled you.
An ammo can do nothing to impede the function of your iPhone or Android-powered smartphone.
Secure your smartphone with a metal paint can
If you’re in a hurry and need to secure your phone, drop it in a metal paint can and put the lid on tightly.
A metal paint bucket can block your phone’s GPS signal and disable its ability to interact with WiFi, 3G, 4G, and LTE networks.
This is cheaper and often more expedient than an expensive Faraday bag or similar passive devices. Also, it works just as good.
Quick Tip: Always test your security solution before depending on it. When you test the effectiveness of a passive signal-blocking method, use Apple’s “Find My Phone” application (or similar app on Android). If it can update your location or send an audible signal to your phone, then you know that your phone is not secured.