As we’ve previously reported, Apple claims they are upping their privacy settings to make it harder to use AirTags to spy on others.
That was the unfortunate case with Brooks Nader, best known for modeling in Sports Illustrated’s Swimsuit editions. The 26-year-old was out on the town in New York City with friends. She made the mistake of uploading a photo of her location to her Instagram Story.
After visiting a few more spots in Manhattan, Brooks began to walk home at around 11:30pm. That’s when she got the dreaded notification on her iPhone that she didn’t even know existed:
- An unknown accessory was detected
- It’s been moving with her for a while
- The owner can see her location.
Brooks didn’t own an AirTag or any tracking device for that matter, but after searching her belongings she found one in her coat pocket.
The model believes someone slipped it in when she left her coat unattended while using the restroom at her first location. She shared her story to Instagram to warn others and raise awareness for other women to keep their belongings close.
How to protect yourself from being tracked
If you have an iPhone, learn about how to detect if an AirTag is spying on you here.
If you ever get a notification of a nearby AirTag like Brooks did, be sure to locate the tracking device so you can disable it.
How To Disable an AirTag
If you find an unauthorized AirTag tracking you, here’s what to do:
- Tap and hold the top of your Android or Apple NFC-capable smartphone to the white side of the AirTag
- Tap the notification that appears. This opens a website that provides information about the AirTag, including the serial number (see image below) Write down the serial number or do a screenshot to snap a picture of your screen that includes the serial number of the AirTag. (This can be helpful for police)
- Push down and twist counterclockwise on the white side of the AirTag
- Take the cover off and remove the battery.
- Once you remove the battery, the location of the AirTag is no longer visible to its owner. If you feel your safety is at risk, contact local law enforcement.
If you have an Android, learn how spying AirTags can be detected on your device here.
Apple is developing an app specifically for Androids to detect AirTags and is expected to be released this year.
Use a device for personal protection
It’s important to invest in tech that will help you feel safer in case anyone ever uses an AirTag or similar device to track you.
Birdie is a lightweight keychain accessory (about the size of a key fob but lighter) that emits a loud alarm and flashes a bright, strobe light to deter attackers. The device is easy to activate when needed as it works by merely pulling off/yanking the bottom portion of the design.
- Ease of use
- The sound emitted is 130 decibels, which is like hearing a jet engine flying 100 feet above you, is sure to shock & deter any assailant and attract nearby help
- Measuring at just 3.5″ x 1.125″ x 0.5″, it can easily be added to a keychain or bag
- At 2 oz, it is lightweight
- Can be bought in a variety of colors, including bright ones which makes it easier to find in a bag or purse
- Nothing to charge or plug in as the provided battery can run the alarm & light for 40 minutes straight without need for replacement
- When the battery needs to be replaced, you can simply buy and replace with two CR2032 batteries instead of buy another device
- With each alarm purchased, the company donates a percentage of profits to partner organizations that support women’s safety, shelter, and health
- Not connected to outside source such as contacts or 911 for further assistance
- Will deter and distract predator but cannot disable/disarm one
For more of the best tech for personal protection, check out the rest of our top picks.
Stay safe on Social Media
It’s always fun to snap a picture while you’re with your friends or at your favorite restaurant. While it may be tempting to post the picture right to Instagram or Facebook, this gives predators access to your immediate location.
Avoid cyberstalking and spying by following these tips:
- Don’t post photos immediately while out in public
- Don’t geotag your location
- Make sure your Instagram account isn’t public
To set your Instagram to private:
- Tap your profile on the bottom right of the Instagram app
- Tap the three lines in the top right, then the Settings gear icon
- Tap Privacy
- Click to toggle your account to private if it isn’t already
Photo credit: Woman on right – photo credit by Brooks Nader