This question has come up on several occasions due to the privacy concerns associated with GPS tracking apps. As you probably already know, it is important that anyone with a tracking application running on their mobile device be properly notified.
While there are plenty of legitimate reasons for wanting to track a friend or family member, it can be illegal in some places to install such an application without consent.
How do you know if your smartphone is being tracked without your permission?
The answer to this question is not black and white but there are some pretty reliable ways to detect unusual activity on your mobile device. Start by looking for these telltale signs:
1. Abnormal Battery Drain - Some mobile devices have better battery life than others but once you have owned your phone for a few months, you should have a good idea of how long a single charge should last based on your normal usage. Location tracking software will consume extra power by periodically sending location data back and forth from the device. If you notice that the life span of your battery is unusually low, you may want to do a little digging to find out why.
2. Data Usage - Most wireless data plan service providers offer some form of online statistics on how much data transfer is being used each month. If you log in to your account with your service provider, you can see how much information is being transferred is each billing cycle. Look for any suspicious spikes is data usage that sustain themselves over an extended period. A one day spike is probably nothing to be concerned about but if you see a sudden increase of 25% or more and it does not fit with your online browsing habits, that might be a warning sign.
3. Install a System Monitoring App - These apps are available for Android, Blackberry, and the iPhone and will give you an instant overview of every application and process running on your device, even if it is running in the background. They will allow you to end any process that is using system resources and shut it down by simply clicking the "end task" key.
Watch out for stealth tracking applications that might have a name that does not provide a proper description of what the app actually does. The best way to guard against this is to know what applications normally run on your phone. If you see anything that you did not intentionally install, stop it right away and run a Google search for the name of the program to find out what it is.
These are all good warning signs that might alert you to a problem with your cell phone (or tablet) but the best way to prevent a tracking application from being installed is to keep your device with you at all times. Always make sure that your device is within sight and be sure to password protect your user interface. Change your password at least every thirty days for extra security and be sure to avoid sharing your access information with anyone.
Are you prepared to handle an emergency if one of your children goes missing? You're probably already familiar with the Amber alerts system that puts out public notices when a child goes missing but did you know that the AmberWatch Foundation also offers a GPS cell phone tracking app to help track your children?
Statistics say that a child goes missing on average of once every 40 seconds with over 800,000 missing children reported annually in the United States alone. Yes, you read that correctly! Nearly one million kids turn up missing in a single year. Most parents will openly admit that one of their biggest fears is having a child abducted.
The AmberWatch GPS Child Locator
One way some parents have used technology to help reduce the risk of their family becoming a statistic is by making use of GPS technology in cell phones and mobile devices to monitor their children's location. This system was developed through a partnership between Omnilink Systems and the AmberWatch Foundation and designed specifically for parents. It comes with a full set of features that help you protect the safety of your child without taking significant time away from your busy schedule.
The AmberWatch GPS software works by picking up a signal from either a Sprint based phone or a small dedicated tracking device that you can attach to an item of clothing or inside or a bag or backpack. The device reports back to the software program which you can reach from any computer with an Internet connection and plots your child's location on a map. One unique feature that makes the AmberWatch GPS system stand out above other tracking solutions is the ability to monitor location both indoors and out.
The system is perfect for families with several children and it allows you to track each one independently. As a parent, you can check in at any time to make sure your child has arrived on time for school, been picked up at the bus stop, or arrived safely at a friend's house. The system even allows you to set up custom notifications to alert you when certain events occur.
How Much Does it Cost?
The service does carry a small monthly subscription fee but pays easily pays for itself in peace of mind. If you need a solution to keep track of your family and protect them from harm, this is one of the most affordable and convenient ways to achieve that goal. For about the price of a latte from Starbucks, you can have instant access to some of the most robust and sophisticated cell phone tracking technology available.