Almost every discussion around digital security and online privacy will include the query, “Can someone track your location from a text?” Whether it be safety concerns or efficiency management, many people rely on geolocation. Parents use geolocation to keep track of their children, and many industries rely on this feature to track employee performance.
However, that doesn’t mean it’s all sunshine and rainbows, and geolocation also raises several safety and privacy concerns for individuals. It is pretty scary to even think about any third party being able to keep tabs on your location at all times. So, let’s explore this query further!
Can someone track your location from a text?
The simple answer here is “yes.” While it might not be simple to extract location from a text directly, spy apps and monitoring tools can help. Similarly, service providers and legal authorities can use triangulation to track your site from a text. So, “yes,” someone can track your location with just a text.
Now, before you get concerned, even the paid tools that allow someone to track your location with a text require you to click a link or install an application. As long as you don’t install apps from unknown sources and avoid malicious links, you’re in the green.
However, if someone with bad intent has access to your phone or knows your password, they can install the spyware themselves. You might have to scan your phone once every few weeks to keep yourself safe from these sorts of privacy attacks.
How to track location from a text message?
There are several methods for extracting location from a simple text message. You can use spy tools, links, apps, and even cell towers to determine the target’s location with a simple text message. Let’s start with spy tools!
Method 1: Spy Tools
Tools like Localize.mobi and Scannero.io are both great when you want to track location from a text message. You won’t have to install anything on the target’s phone. Both of these tools help users craft messages that contain a tracking link.
The only condition is that the target clicks the link and approves location access. Here are the steps that you must follow for Scacnner.io
Step 1. Create an account on Scanner.io web and purchase a subscription.
Step 2. Provide the target’s details.
Step 3. Craft Message.
Step 4. Wait for the target to click on the link.
For Localize.mobi, you can follow the same steps. Just look at the service that is cheaper, and you can get trials for both at under a dollar each. So, it’s not that bad an idea to test them both to see which performs better for your tracking needs.
Method 2: Spy Apps
If you’re looking for constant updates on the target’s location, then that is not entirely possible with a simple text. Instead, you will have to manually install the spy app on the target’s phone and then pair that up with the application in the admin device.
Apps like FlashGet Kids and Life360 are more suitable if you’re a parent concerned for your child’s safety!
Method 3: Third-Party Messaging Apps
While it might be difficult to track someone’s location through an SMS, using third-party messaging apps will make your tracking journey easier. Still, you’ll need the direct approval of the target to access their location. One of the most common apps that you can use to track someone’s location through text is WhatsApp.
You can ask the target to:
Step 1. Enable WhatsApp location permissions from phone settings
Step 2. Open up your private chat and click the plus icon (iOS)
Step 3. Tap on location
Step 4. Share live location
This will create a permanent link from the target’s device, and you can use this text from WhatsApp to access their live location. As long as they have the mobile data and the location services enabled, you’re in the green!
Method 4: Triangulation
If you’re talking about tracking someone with a simple SMS and not through a text from a messaging app, then triangulation is your best bet. Sadly, this method is only limited to service providers and legal authorities. So, you can’t use this technique unless you’re in the law force.
Anyhow, the triangulation method includes tracking mobile signals from different towers. An SMS always travels through service towers, and if it bounces through three or more towers, you’ll get a rough location estimate.
The accuracy of this method can sometimes be underwhelming. Still, if you’re just looking for a rough estimate of the target’s location, then triangulation is your best bet. One thing to keep in mind is that you can’t just ask the service provider to leak the location of the target.
Instead, if you have serious concerns, try involving the local authorities. They have the resources to help you tackle any tracking emergency you’re stuck in.
These four methods are great for tracking location from a text message. However, you will still need the consent of the person you’re trying to track!
How to know if your location is being tracked?
Now, it is entirely illegal to track someone’s location without their consent. However, that doesn’t stop individuals who intend to breach your privacy. This concern leaves many wondering how to know if your location is being tracked. Luckily, a few pointers here will help you be more secure.
Protecting your location privacy: Warning signs and solutions
Mobile Battery — If you notice a massive drop in the battery life, then there is likely a suspicious application working in the background that might broadcast your location.
Data Usage — If your data usage takes a jump even though you haven’t used it, it might be best to recheck all the applications.
Permissions — Checking the location permissions for different apps will also help determine if someone is tracking your location. Just restrict location access to all apps, and you’ll be sorted.
Performance — If the device starts to heat up or is suddenly slower, then that might also be an indication of suspicious activity in the background.
Browser History — Lastly, if you see random pop-ups and don’t recognize some of the pages in your browser history, that is also an issue. So, you have to keep track of all these pointers to know if your location is being tracked.
As long as you’re mindful of these signs, there is a good chance that you’ll figure out if someone is tracking your phone. Now, to remove these applications, you can either factory reset the phone or use any anti-spyware application.
I suggest that you wipe your device. The factory reset will rid your phone of all the spyware, and you can now be more attentive towards mobile privacy. Choosing a decent VPN and not connecting to public Wi-Fi is a good start!
Similarly, you can prevent spyware from being installed on your device by being mindful of the links you click on messaging apps. Even an innocent-looking message can contain a malicious link, and you should never open a link you got from an unknown source.
How to protect your kids from being tracked?
Even if you know you take care of your device, kids tend to care about something other than online security. Hence, parents must be extra careful to protect their kids from being tracked. Luckily, apps like FlashGet Kids can help you keep your kids safe.
This app has multiple features, including but not limited to geofencing, text and call monitoring, app and web monitoring, and more! So, you’ll get alerts every time your kid downloads an app or visits a website that they’re not supposed to visit.
Moreover, you can scan apps on their phone from the parent device after pairing them together. Here’s how to protect your kids from being tracked with the FlashGet Kids.
Step 1. Install FlashGet Kids for parent on parent’s mobile and kid’s version on your children’s devices.
Step 2. Follow on-screen instructions to pair all devices
Step 3. Tap “check app and their permissions.”
Step 4. Remove (or restrict permissions for) any app that has location access