Are You Being Tracked?
Safety should always be our top priority. With the help of just a few short codes, you can find out more about the settings of your phone and work out whether or not your messages and information are protected and whether you’re being tracked.
Bright Side has gathered together some of the most useful and important codes for smartphones all in one article, together with some instructions for those who’re worried about being tracked.
*#21# The Diversion Code
With this code, you can find out whether your calls, messages, and other data are being diverted. The status of the different types of diversions that are taking place along with the number the information is being transferred to will be displayed on your phone’s screen. This function is most often set up by either jealous partners or parents who are trying to protect their kids from spam or criminals. Elderly people often become victims of this practice when they lend their phone to a stranger to make a single call. If they do so, they risk having information about where they live, who their friends and family are, their habits and daily activites, and even their financial circumstances passed on to criminals.
*#62# The Redirection Code
Dial this code if you want to find out where calls, messages, and data are being redirected to if it seems that no one can get through to you. The chances are in this case that your voice calls are being redirected to one of your cell phone operator’s numbers.
##002# Cancel all Redirection
This is a universal code for switching off all forms of redirection away from your phone. It’s a good idea to use this before you have to use roaming. In this case, money won’t be taken from your account for calls that are redirected by default to your voice mail.
*#06# IMEI Check
With the help of this code, you can find out your IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identifier). If you know this number, you can find your phone if someone steals it. When switched on, its location is automatically conveyed to the network operator even if a different SIM card is inserted. If someone knows your IMEI number, they can find out the model and technical characteristics of your phone.
The James Bond Code
Special codes exist that allow someone to track your location and also to determine whether someone is following you. For this, you need the utility netmonitor. Type in one of the following codes:
for iPhone: *3001#12345#*
for Android: *#*#4636#*#* or *#*#197328640#*#*
Step 1. Go to the section called UMTS Cell Environment, then UMTS RR info, and write down all the numbers under Cell ID. These numbers are the basic stations located nearby. Your phone will connect by default to the one that emits the best signal.
Step 2. Go back to the main menu, and click on the MM info tab, then on Serving PLMN. Write down the numbers under Local Area Code (LAC).
Step 3. With the help of these two numbers and an ordinary website (the fourth tab to the left), you can determine the location on the map of the basic station that your phone is connected to.
The ones to be suspicious of are mobile basic stations — this could be a truck or small bus with a large antenna. These kinds of vehicles are used at rock festivals and in places where Internet coverage is poor. If there’s one of them nearby, seemingly without any logical reason, it’s just possible that someone is engaged in spying.
Use Anti-Virus Software
If you use Android, you should periodically check your phone for viruses. PlaceRaider is one of the most dangerous ones that can infect your device. Developed by American experts, it was meant to show how vulnerable our devices are. Once it gets onto a phone, this Trojan takes a series of photographs of the surrounding area, creates a 3D model of the building you’re in, and then takes advantage of any Internet connection to send the data that it’s gathered, adding along with it all the data on the phone and your passwords.
How do the secret services listen in
- National security agencies in virtually all countries now cooperate with cell phone operators, who often provide the former with access to information on any of their customers provided they have a warrant from a court. As a minimum, they provide data from the last three months.
- If your phone has been tapped by a security agency, the chances are you won’t even notice. If a phone makes odd noises during a conversation, loses battery power rapidly, overheats, or unexpectedly restarts, this is merely an indication that you need to get it repaired rather than a telltale sign that you’re being listened to.
- People generally don’t reveal all that much in phone conversations, so from the point of view of those who want to listen in it’s much more worthwhile to set up special devices (“bugs”) in someone’s home. Radio wave detectors can be used to work out whether such bugs are present in a building.
How can you protect yourself from criminals and spies?
- Use messaging apps that are completely closed to outsiders, such as Telegram, Chare, Wickr, or Signal.
- Determine what information it’s safe to make accessible to all. Should everyone really be able to find out your phone number or have access to information about your family, loved ones, or your lifestyle? Be very careful when posting photographs of children.
- Don’t install unknown programmes on your phone, keep close track of the apps you have installed, and use multiple security locks wherever you can. Don’t click on unsafe links, and don’t connect your phone to suspicious “free” charging points.
- Only your cell phone operator should ever offer you tracking services, and they should only turn them on with your explicit agreement. Websites and applications that offer to find out the location of other people are almost certainly acting with criminal intent. Be careful!