One effective way to beat your competition is to buy them. This seems to be the strategy of Australian born USA based entrepreneur John Milton, CEO of UnlockBase, the largest cellphone unlocking site on the web. In the past month he has bought gsmliberty.net and now his latest acquisition is Unlocking.com.
Unlocking.com was founded by Irish entrepreneur John McLaughlin in 2002, and was originally known as uniquephones.com. The site was subsequently sold in May 2011 to Vietnam born, Australia based Nguyen Thuy Hoang. Mr. McLaughlin was among the first site owners to unlock Apple iPhones in 2007. Mr. Hoang has since diversified and has the exclusive right to sell MBAs from the UK in a number of Asian cities. Hoang bought the cellphone unlock site in 2011 but admits he struggled to make his investment profitable due to the complexity and ever evolving nature of the cellphone unlock industry.
“Make no mistake, cellphone unlocking is a tough and fast moving business” explains Mr. Milton. “If you’re not right on top of what you are doing it simply won’t work for you. At UnlockBase we pride ourselves on having some of the best reverse engineers in the business as well as a fast and responsive customer service that is open 24/7 365 days a year, always with a human being present to help and quickly resolve problems.”
Unlocking.com started out as a small project to allow users to “modify” their handsets. The site created tools to allow customers to change fonts, edit menu text, and change default clipart on their handsets for free. They then reverse engineered any Nokia handsets they could find. During this time the owners discovered all sorts of hidden data on the hand sets, including how they could be unlocked. In the winter of 2002 Unlocking.com was the first company in the world to offer phone unlock codes online. Within a few weeks the site was unlocking 8,000 handsets per hour, all for free. They only began charging users for unlocking in October 2004 and in the summer of 2006 they started to expand beyond Nokia.
Today Unlocking.com enjoys global reach aided by numerous online publications. The site has been featured in Google News, The Irish News, The Washington Post, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal as well as Polish, Norwegian and Austrian newspapers and magazines. This has resulted in an impressive 4 million unlock codes delivered to customers in 165 countries. The site supports several handsets from over 750 carriers worldwide.
John Milton indicated his potential interest in purchase Unlocking.com began as early 2013. Eventually Mr. Hoang reached the decision to sell after some three years and Mr. Milton managed to acquire it for a quarter of what Hoang bought it for 5 years earlier.
“We will now absorb the Unlocking.com database into our own.” said Mr. Milton. “As with gsmliberty.net, we anticipate unlocking.com customers will be delighted with the service we can offer. We like to be competitively priced, quick to react, versatile and offer what we believe is the largest database of phones and service providers anywhere on the net. I admit it is hard for some smaller sites to compete with our product offering – but we have been doing this a long time – fully 15 years.”
UnlockBase operates worldwide and frequently receives cellphone unlock requests from countries as small as Kiribati, or as wealthy as Kuwait. To assist customers, the site offers a full suite of online paying services. This is of great importance where customers live in countries without easy access to credit or debit cards.
This is an oldie but goodie from Sony Xperia, and was originally released in the United States in October 2014. Yes, in cellphone terms that’s an ice age ago, but the Sony Xperia Z3 remains a popular phone to unlock, and a fast seller on eBay and other auctions sites.
The Xperia Z3 hails the entry for Sony of design aesthetics such as a curved bezel. Like its predecessors, the Xperia Z3’s design consists of a metal frame with a glass backing; with the metal frame being rounded, while the device itself is slightly slimmer than the earlier Z2. Equipped with a near phablet sized 5.2” FHD screen, the Sony Xperia Z3 carries slightly higher IP ratings for water and dust-proofing than the Z2. With a 1080p display and a density of 424 ppi, it also features Sony’s “Triluminos” technology.
Incorporating years of Sony camera expertise, the Xperia Z3 includes Cyber-shot and Handycam technologies for bright, crisp, and super sharp photography. The rear facing camera is a mighty 20.7 Megapixels with a Sony Exmor RS image sensor, along with improvements to “SteadyShot” and “Intelligent Active” modes. It also has ISO 12800 sensitivity, enabling you to capture moments in low light.
The phone comes with a 2.5 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 system-on-chip with 3 GB of RAM, with Google Android 6.0 (Marshmallow). The Z3 includes a non-removable 3100 mAh battery with up to two days of battery life. The phone runs on a single nano sim card upgradeable to 128GB via the microSD slot.
Unlock your Sony Xperia Z3 with UnlockBase
At the time of its release in the fall of 2014, the phone was compared favorably with the Samsung S4. The phone was on the market offered by T-Mobile in black, and some of these phones are still locked with an RSU App. If this is not what you want and you are keen to get rid of it, UnlockBase can help.
With the largest database on the web for phones and service providers, UnlockBase will not be beaten on price. For just $29.90 we can unlock and free up your Sony Xperia X3 in less than 24 Hours using the official Android Official Unlock for T-Mobile USA. Before you order the app make it’s important to make sure your phone is free of any viruses and is not blacklisted, or else the app will not be able to help you.
To Unlock your Sony Xperia Z3 (D6616) from T-Mobile USA please follow this Link:
UB Software Ltd, owners of UnlockBase.com, one of the fastest growing remote cellphone unlock providers on the internet, has just acquired GsmLiberty.net. Founded in 2004, Delaware USA based gsmliberty.net offers a remote unlock GSM service.
Terrestrial GSM networks now cover more than 90% of the world’s population. GSM’s international roaming capability enables users to be accessed via the same mobile number in up to 219 countries worldwide. As with UnlockBase, GSMLiberty offers a solution to phone users wishing to break out of contracts with service providers.
Speaking of his decision to purchase the site, CEO of UB Software, Australia born, Caribbean based Mr. John Milton said: “We view the purchase of gsmliberty.net as exactly the right purchase for us at this time. The business is mature, well established and a big player, but we believe we can add an all-important extra dimension to the product with our high levels of customer service. We operate around the clock every day of the year, and we will not be beaten on price. This new acquisition will take our business to the next level in terms of scale and size.”
Gsmliberty.net was built and developed singlehandedly as a start-up in 2004 by web developer, Montreal based Ghassan A. With a comprehensive background in product development, Mr. A. developed the site to a point where it had a customer base of half a million located throughout the world.
“This is another aspect of the gsmliberty.net product offering that suits our business model perfectly” said Mr. Milton.
“Like gsmliberty.net, we operate globally and we have developed systems to handle inquiries speedily and efficiently anywhere in the world. We are always ready to handle technical inquiries and customer service issues, and our customers are guaranteed they are always dealing with human beings, not robots. I am confident the purchase of gsmliberty.net will merge seamlessly into our existing business, and we are sure former customers of gsmliberty.net will be happy with the service we can offer.”
UnlockBase offers the web’s largest database of mobile phones and service providers, spelling a quick, safe and cost effective exit for millions of customers worldwide locked into contracts they don’t want. Plans are already at an advanced stage to merge the gsmliberty.net customer base with that of UnlockBase.com.
The new Samsung Galaxy S7 is slim, but in a big way. It looks the part, with a 5.1 inch Quad HD Super AMOLED screen protected by scratchproof 3D glass. The sleek glass and metal, refined and streamlined with ergonomic curves, ensures a comfortable, secure grip. As for performance, it’s huge, with more advanced cameras, more responsive software functionality and superb connectivity to enjoy the full gamut of products, services, and online experiences.
The phone comes with a microSD card slot upgradeable to 200GB and fast wired and wireless charging technology.
As a practical phone to carry with you, the Samsung Galaxy S7 received an IP68 rating to make it water resistant to spills, splashes. Even dropping it in water won’t slow down the Galaxy S7.
Taking pictures takes on another dimension. Compare it with other phones of lesser quality and immediately notice the revolutionary world first of Dual Pixel technology which produces crisper, richer colors from a brighter lens with a wider aperture for great shots even in low light. The front facing camera is 5MP while the rear camera offers 12 MP with fast auto focus.
Gaming performance has also gone large with big updates to software and the optimization of gaming performance. The 4GB RAM and 32GB ROM processer and bigger battery capacity puts PC power in the palm of your hand to ensure longer playing time, while the internal cooling system keeps the device from overheating. The new add-on for gamers, Game Launcher, allows users to manage battery consumption and minimize notifications.
The 4G LTE Galaxy S7 offers a seamless mobile experience with the new Gear S2 Classic to monitor fitness, or the connection with Gear VR to “travel” the world. Additionally, Galaxy S7 users can make payments with Samsung Pay, secured by Samsung KNOX. It’s easy-to-use and accepted almost anywhere, making mobile payments available to more merchants and consumers.
The Galaxy S7 is available at T-Mobile for $669.99 or $27.92 per month for 24 months with $0 down. For a limited time, you can also get 50% off a Samsung Tab A 8.0 via Prepaid MasterCard™ Card when you purchase a select Samsung Galaxy Smartphone. MetroPCS offer the Samsung Galaxy S7 for $649.00 or with monthly payments starting from $30.00.
Unlock your Galaxy S7 with UnlockBase
No matter how much you love your phone, you don’t have to be stuck with your service provider. UnlockBase, the web’s leading remote cellphone unlocking service, is here to help. We can quickly, efficiently and economically unlock your Samsung Galaxy S7 using the Device Unlock App. Device Unlock is an Android app that allows you to request and apply a mobile device unlock directly from the device. This allows you to automatically apply Mobile Device Unlock to the device without using a manual code. When your phone is locked with “Mobile Device Unlock” it’s totally useless to order an unlock code.
Unlocking your Samsung Galaxy S7 costs just $24 if from MetroPCS, and $29.9 if from T-Mobile USA . Should you find a genuine cheaper offer to unlock your phone elsewhere we promise to match or better it. Before using the app, you need to be sure your phone is 100% clean, not stolen or blacklisted.
To Unlock your Samsung Galaxy S7 (SM-G930T) from T-Mobile USA please follow this Link:
To Unlock your Samsung Galaxy S7 (SM-G930T) from MetroPCS USA please follow this Link:
The new LG G5 is the first modular smartphone from the South Korean company, and it comes in an all-metal design, so you can upgrade it with accessories, but still appreciate the sleek look and feel. Key new features for the LG 5 include a uni-body design, an easy to slide-out battery, and MicroSD card slot, so you can add more power and memory quickly and easily. The screen is a 5.3” Quad HD screen with a high-contrast display with daylight mode.
As far as cameras are concerned, they are dual rear-facing with standard and ultra-wide-angle lenses. There’s an 8MP camera at the front and 16MP on the rear. The 135° lens means you can capture a sprawling skyline, a stadium concert, or the full length of a beach. You can also zoom out ultra-wide (0.5X) – it’s a first for a smartphone. You can take a variety of photos and videos from a micro close-up to a macro scene by simply pinching the screen.
The phone measures 149.4 x 73.9 x 7.7mm, and unlike its G series predecessors, it’s not curved and is smaller and easier to hold. Reaching all corners of the screen is now possible.
The LG 5 features Always-on display so there’s no need to press the button to check the time, date, or notifications, just a glance gives you the information you need.
Despite the Always-on display, to minimize power consumption, LG redesigned the display driver IC memory and power management function so that the display’s backlight only illuminates one small part of the overall display. This means the Always-on Display requires only 0.8 percent of the battery’s full capacity per hour to remain functional. With consumers turning on their smartphones up to 150 times a day mostly to just check the time, the G5’s Always-on Display has been designed to make a notable difference in the life of the battery over the course of the day.
For greater connectivity, the LG G5’s Friends Manager app enables you to connect, interact and play with all your LG owning friends.
T-Mobile is currently selling the LG 5 for $629.99 or for $26.25 a month for 24 months with $0 down.
Unlock your LG G5 (H830) with UnlockBase
If you want the freedom to choose your own service provider, no problem. UnlockBase, the web’s leading remote cellphone unlocking service, is here to help. We can quickly, efficiently and economically unlock your LG5 using the Device Unlock App.
Device Unlock is an Android app that allows you to request and apply a mobile device unlock directly from the device. This allows you to automatically apply Mobile Device Unlock to the device without using a manual code. When your phone is locked with “Mobile Device Unlock” it’s totally useless to order an unlock code. Unlocking your LG 5 costs just $29.90. Before using the app, you need to be sure your phone is 100% clean, not stolen or blacklisted.
To Unlock your LG G5 (H830) from T-Mobile USA please follow this Link:
UnlockBase is the web’s leading remote online cellphone unlocking site and has the web’s largest database of cellphone models and service providers all around the globe. It may not sound very romantic, but when you consider the cellphone has become the medium of choice to flirt, romance, chat, share pictures and find hot dates all over the world, then you can start to see how UnlockBase can help. Several websites such as OK Cupid and Plenty of Fish, not to mention a whole raft of some of the more naughty dating sites, have modeled their entire business structure around their customer base using the cellphone. It means that finding the love, or even the lust of your life, can be as simple as just reaching for your phone to exchange flirty messages, chat for hours on social media apps, or better still, chat on the phone thanks to a generous cell phone deal.
That’s where UnlockBase can play Cupid. A lousy deal from your service provider can seriously hamper your naturally romantic nature if you quickly run out of data, or exceed your monthly call minutes. Make no mistake, no matter how interesting things are getting on your phone, they’ll stop you in mid-sentence or refuse to send that all important selfie if you should suddenly run out of credit. That’s what they mean when they say the course of love can be cruel. And when you suddenly cut people off on the phone, it’s Murphy’s Law that they will assume the worst. Their imagination starts to run riot. Did he or she just blank me? Have they found someone better to talk to? Why did they suddenly and so rudely stop talking to me?
Fortunately, with UnlockBase, it takes only a few seconds to free yourself from a lousy phone deal and go in search of a better one. It’s rather like unlocking your own libido, because once free of your all controlling service provider you are free to find any provider you want. One with better call rates, a better data package, or much better reception in your area so you are not constantly asking your loved one to repeat what they just said, or seeing only fuzzy images of them on an intimate Skype call – that gets tiring and unromantic very quickly.
If your cellphone is going to be your method for finding love and fulfillment it needs to be free to work its magic, and that’s what an unlocked cellphone can be. The beauty of an unlocked phone is that it doesn’t limit you to just searching for love in your own back yard. Imagine if you wanted to find romance in another part of the world. Your traditional cellphone provider will quickly pour cold water over that with texts that won’t go through because they are not part of your regular package, crippling call rates, and quite often, the inability to actually connect with certain foreign countries.
Let UnlockBase unlock your phone and you can buy yourself a SIM card such as Lebara, Vectone or Lycamobile which are specially designed for long distance calling, with cheap call rates, generous text messaging costs and even free calls if your long distance lover uses the same service provider.
You don’t need to test your patience or powers of endurance with Wattsapp or Viber messaging if you can just pick up the phone and chat for hours. Explaining how you feel and what you’re trying to say is much easier when you just say it with spoken words, but unless you want romance crushing bills falling on your doormat from a normal cellphone service provider, your long distance love life will suffer without an unlocked phone.
UnlockBase doesn’t just unlock your cellphone, it sets your spirit free.
Most phablet fans would agree the Samsung Galaxy Note series is the daddy of all the phablets, consistently high quality and innovative as well as slick and easy to use. Samsung believe with the Galaxy Note5 they have delivered the best version yet.
Billed as the most powerful and beautiful model yet, with a 5.7 inch Quad HD Super AMOLED (518ppi) screen, it’s still as big as ever, but now slimmer, framed by sleek aluminum metal and glass. The useful S Pen can be used on a sleek flat surface while the phone’s dual-edge back lies comfortably in the palm of your hand. In fact, the new S-Pen is now even more like an actual pen, and writes like one too on the surface of the screen. The screen is made from super tough Gorilla glass.
The 32GB Samsung Galaxy Note 5 comes with a wireless charger. Just rest the phone on the charger and it’s fully powered in 120 minutes. The advantage of the wireless charger is that you can keep it with you at all times, so even when you are travelling or stopping for refreshments, your phone can stay topped up to the max.
There are also a number of entertainment options with the Galaxy Note5 that a new dimension not just to using your phone, but the way you entertain yourself and your friends. This includes the ability to share your own experiences with others in real time by turning on your camera and using Live Broadcast that streams on You Tube to live the moment together.
The camera also features Video Digital Imaging Stabilization in addition to Optical Image Stabilization technology so there’s no camera shake, it’s so steady it’s as if the camera is locked off, not hand held. You can record videos in 4K / UHD.
There’s also a 16 MP rear camera and 5MP front camera. The camera’s Advanced Selfie technology and range of effective filters mean photos are super sharp. Pictures and videos can then be shown on a TV screen with just one tap.
Connectivity is also easy with Galaxy Note5. SideSync enables you to respond to texts and get important reminders and alerts while you’re on your computer.
In certain countries you can also take advantage of Samsung Pay, a hassle-free and secure way to pay with fingerprint authentication and additional layers of security
The Samsung Galaxy S5 retails at $699 cash or $29.17 a month for 24 months from T-Mobile with $0 down.
Unlock your Galaxy Note 5 with Unlockbase
If you’re happy with everything about your choice of phone, but not your cellphone provider, you need to get in touch with Unlockbase. UnlockBase is the leading online remote unlock site, with the largest database of phones and service providers around the globe. You can unlock your Galaxy Note5 quickly, easily and cost efficiently for $29.90 using the Mobile Device Unlock App, the Android official unlock for T-Mobile USA. Just ensure your phone is clean, and not reported as lost or stolen.
You might think that choosing your cellphone is much more important than choosing your cell phone provider, but if you get stuck with the wrong provider, it’s really like being stuck in a bad marriage for 24 long months.
Fortunately, with UnlockBase there is a an easy and painless way to get a quickie divorce from your service provider, because UnlockBase has the largest database of mobile phones and service provider around the globe, and is able to unlock your cellphone within seconds. That’s always good to know, but it doesn’t alter the fact that you should give serious consideration to which cellphone provider before you sign on the dotted line.
But why is this so?
Well first of all, the provider provides the all-important network coverage you will receive throughout the length of your contract, and coverage is not created equal. You can have poor and patchy coverage from one service provider in one particular area, and excellent coverage from another. Before you make up your mind, ask the provider to check your area to see how well they cover your part of the world. Make sure you get the best coverage you can in the areas where you will need it.
The right cellular technology
Another important point to consider is whether you travel frequently. Before you sign up for that shiny new phone with the big megapixels, find out if it offers GSM when traveling abroad. CDMA, while common in the States, is not nearly as prevalent outside of American borders. You don’t want to arrive in a foreign country only to find your phone can’t find a signal and is effectively dead for the whole trip.
Generous data package and 4G network
The data network and data package didn’t use to matter so much when apps and video games weren’t as all powerful as they are today. But in this age of intense online surfing on your smartphone, data packages and the speed at which they are delivered are all important and must be examined carefully. You need a data package generous enough to enable all the things you want to do on a daily basis including use of the internet, sending of e-mails, streaming music and videos, and of course, downloading apps and video games. If you are not able to access free WiFi while you surf you’ll be amazed how fast your phone gobbles up data.
As for the network, the fastest 4G LTE data network has become like a God given right. If you want LTE, which of course you most probably do, get to know where the carrier has the best 4G coverage and how fast it is. And just like with calls, make sure you’ve tried a carrier’s data network before committing.
The right phone for your needs
Service providers tend to push you towards the phone they want you to have, and quite often this is a model which they want to offload before the new version comes in. That means you are stuck with last year’s technology for maybe two whole years. So it really pays to do your homework and read a whole bunch of online reviews about a wide variety of phones before settling on the one that’s best for you. If the service provider doesn’t have the phone model you want, take time to check what they are offering before signing up. Different service providers offer different models and even the same models can be at different monthly rates, so check and double check your phones so that you don’t get swayed or misinformed by the sales talk.
If all goes well and you have done your homework properly, you won’t need to be talking or dealing with customer service too often, but if you find you are dealing with them, and you are not satisfied, the chances are it’s because you haven’t ironed out all the important details we have mentioned above. Over 90% of calls or interaction with the customer service departments of network service providers stems from either the phone, the coverage, the data package, or the bills. If you have found out all you need to know before you sign up, you can quite possibly get by with only minimal need for customer service. But like we say, if you find you’re not happy, and you’re stuck with poor service and a lousy package, don’t worry, there’s always UnlockBase!
Did you know that over 50% of cellphone owners – 58% – have been the target of phone scammers in the past year alone? This staggering statistic means that one in two people will receive a scam call, and it’s a 41% rise in the number of such calls since 2013. These figures were released recently by the Financial Fraud Action UK (FFA UK) and usually such trends in the UK reflect a much worse situation in the USA, so it’s safe to say, there are a whole lot of scammers working the phones.
This type of phone scam has become known as ‘vishing’, but what is a vishing phone scam? This kind of call typically involves fraudsters deceiving people into believing they are speaking either to a police officer, bank staff, or a representative of just about any financial or even a government department.
There are apps that can be downloaded to create such spoof calls. Amazingly calls can appear to be coming from a number you know and trust such as your bank, when in fact it’s a criminal call you from hundreds of miles away.
Skilled fraudsters have convinced people they are genuine by appearing to know certain financial and personal information about them, all of the information has been previously hacked form your account details. The fraudster will then proceed to explain that your savings account or current account is at risk from hackers, and that they are urgently recommending you to switch the account to another account number.
This exact trick has robbed several unsuspecting people of tens of thousands of pounds of their savings. Sometimes it is possible to stop some of the funds before they reach the fraudsters account, but if you leave it too late to double check with the bank and the money is transferred, there is nothing your bank can do, and you are liable for the loss. Another variation of a phone scam involves the fraudster persuading people to hand over cash directly to a courier, or to invest in a scheme that is apparently making others a small fortune.
If you are suspicious about a call from your bank, tell the caller you are going to hang up and call back to verify the authenticity of the call. However, even then beware. Scammers actually encourage people to hang up and call their bank to verify the legitimacy of the call. A phone line can stay open for up to two minutes, so the fraudsters remain on the line and play a dialing tone to trick the individual into thinking they’re calling their bank. Banks, police and other official institutions will never ask you to call them back to verify their authenticity.
Leave the phone call to your bank for at least 5 to 10 minutes to frustrate the fraudsters, and always be wary of giving out bank details and other sensitive information. Most banks have a password you need to repeat in part prior to proceeding with the call, you might want to test the caller by deliberately mentioning incorrect letters to your password. If they say it’s ok, you know you are dealing with a scammer.
Information is everything to a scammer. Just your name, email address and phone number are enough for fraudsters to find out your home address and then sell your details on to other scammers in places as far away as Romania and Russia.
UnlockBase can stop criminals in their tracks
If you start receiving too many of these calls, and many people complain of being plagued by scam calls on a daily basis, UnlockBase can quickly come to your aid.
UnlockBase is the biggest online remote cellphone unlocking service on the web. If you find your cellphone number has been compromised by fraudsters, don’t put up with it. We can unlock your phone quickly, easily and economically, leaving you free to find another service provider and a brand new number the scammers don’t know about.
Guard your information carefully
Never disclose your new number to anyone you don’t know or trust. Do not broadcast your number on social media or fill in online forms that require a cell phone number unless you are certain you know the number will be handled in complete confidence. Whether you’re looking to invest, or searching for a new bank account, you should always be the first one to make contact. If the caller is trying to hurry you and brow beat you into a decision, be suspicious, say no.
Unfortunately, scammers have been able to steal information from official records and the DVLA, the British driving license authority, so always be on your guard when you receive calls from people you do not know.
Cellular phone tracking is not just a fantasy dreamed up by spy thriller movie directors to make you believe that there is no escape from Big Brother. Big Brother, to a greater or lesser extent, really is tracking you, or at the very least, can do so should they ever feel the need.
The process of determining the position of a cellphone on a map, whether it be stationary or moving can be achieved by either GPS, which most smartphones have automatically included these days, or by checking the triangulation of several radio towers used by the cellphone owner’s network provider. The cell phones GSM is judged by the signal strength of the cell phone to nearby aerials and/or antennas.
How is working Cellphone Triangulation
At UnlockBase we unlock thousands of smart phones around the world every year, in fact more than any other web based remote unlocking service, so we like to keep our customers knowledgeable about the clever technology that comes hidden inside every phone you own.
Sneaky cellphone tracking
Instant messaging apps such as Viber have taken the GPS tracking device a step further by actually providing an accurate location complete with map an address of where your chat buddy is living or working. You may have installed other apps that can enable malicious app writers to intercept or read your emails, your text messages and sensitive information on your phone such as your bank details. If you have clicked OK to a long list of permissions on a newly installed app, delete it!
Cell phone tracking that includes a location gives out the actual coordinates of the cell phone. While the government may or may not be interested in your whereabouts, this feature is more commonly used by your cellphone provider to get an idea of where the cellphone is. Why do they do this? It’s not because they care about your safety or are spying on you. They simply want to know when your cell phone moves into areas where there are extra tariffs applicable. And this usually includes traveling to other countries.
Cell phone tracking that uses GPS is achieved by using a constellation of 27 satellites that orbit our planet. In simple terms, the satellites send out a signal which reveal where they are and when they sent the signal, and the GPS receiver picks up these signals. This information is then used to figure out where the GPS device is in relation to these satellites, and by doing so, accurately works out where it is on the globe. Don’t blame your cellphone for letting people know where you are; the GPS will simply transmit this information to whoever wants to know where the phone is located. And if you think going into the great outdoors will make you harder to follow, think again, GPS tends to work better outdoors.
Scenes showing cellphones being broken in two or thrown into rivers are common place in thriller movies. Ever since Osama Bin Laden and several of his cohorts were traced by their cellphones in the early days of tracking technology, they quickly reverted to a pre-cellular era and delivered all messages by human couriers.
What does your cellphone broadcast about you?
Hopefully you’re not in that situation, but if you were, do you really need to go that far, and what information is your cell phone broadcasting about you?
For example, if you believe your cellphone is being tracked switching to airplane mode won’t help. Every phone has two operating systems, one that connects to cellular networks, and one that interfaces with the customer. Airplane mode would only disable features on the customer facing operating system, such as Android or iOS, but not in the OS used between the phone and the carrier network. A phone can be happily giving out a ‘ping’ and you will never know it.
Your phone doesn’t even need to be sending out GPS coordinates, because any communication at all with a cell tower can expose you. By comparing the signal strength of your cell phone on multiple cell towers, someone looking for you can approximate your location with the triangulation technique, and criminals are still caught by this on a regular basis. Access to this data from your mobile network is, thankfully, out of reach of criminals, but service providers can be compelled to provide this personal data to law-enforcement agencies.
You often see the SIM card being thrown away by operatives in the movies. While this may provide an obstacle to cyber criminals, every phone has a built-in feature set of identifiers that may be detected via tools and devices used by the police and military. The NSA has even installed fake 2G cell towers thereby forcing a phone to 2G which means no encryption so it is easily detected and tracked.
At short range, your phone can also be tracked by Wi-Fi. Every time you turn Wi-Fi on, your phone is sending out a signal that includes your unique MAC address, a fingerprint for digital devices. Stores already employ this technology to track customer movements. It’s not ideal for surveillance, but with armed with your MAC address, surveillance teams don’t need an announcer to tell everyone you have left the building, they will already know.
Cellphone tracking is only going to get smarter, but unfortunately, for most of us, it’s too late to step off the merry go round. Could you go back to a pre-cellular era?