Salman Rahat

How You Are Tracked Even When Your Phone’s Location is Off


As the world connects via the Internet, people from diverse cultures come closer together. But you are only partially safe, as smartphones play an important role in your daily life. You use them in every aspect of life, from keeping your pictures and videos, exploring new places to stay connected to your loved one, or organizing your finances.

However, as easily accessible as the devices are, they also bring concerning privacy suggestions. And we are talking about smartphones being vulnerable to hacking even when your phone’s location is off. 

Because of this alarming situation, your data and privacy are not entirely safe. Many people don’t have knowledge about this. Nowadays, most smartphones come with built-in location services, which can reveal your location.

Moreover, one of the main ways that your location is tracked down is because of location data. The question arises: “If my phone’s location is off, can I still be tracked?” Yes, whether your built-in location is switched off, it is possible. 

The reason can be to upgrade location services or show suitable advertising; your smartphone gathers information about your all-day locations, like where you are and how you move throughout the day. 

Furthermore, most people are well aware that the phone’s GPS is tracking their movements. Yet, many don’t notice that location data continues to record even when the phone’s location settings are switched off. There is one way to secure your IP address or location via a suitable anonymous VPN; with the assistance of a VPN, you can get a new IP address and keep your identity hidden.

In this blog, we will discuss some significant errors you may be making since they can track your location even when the phone’s location is off.

Cellular Network Tracking

Sometimes, you have noticed that without GPS, your cell phone continuously communicates with your local area cell tower to give you an ideal cellular network. Using radio waves, these towers locate your cell phone in the local area, even if you have switched off the location services. 

With the help of triangulation, the network can find your phone’s position less than a few hundred meters away. This is the foundation of network-based location tracking, and it’s a vital factor in many wireless services you use daily. The issue is that network-based tracking is not always accurate or concise.

Moreover, it is hard to find cell network towers in the countryside or remote areas, so it is less effective there. In these situations, your phone’s GPS is the only stable and reliable source of location data.

Wi-Fi Network Tracking

Another way you can be tracked down is while you use nearby WiFi or a public network. As you are closer to the hotspot, the WiFi signal strength is according to it, so you will receive a stronger signal.

In recent years, WiFi network-based tracking has become significantly common; most businesses and advertisers use it to track foot traffic and provide personalized promotions. For instance, a store may use the information to determine the most crowded areas of the site or give discounts to people in particular parts of the store.

WiFi-based tracking is more accurate than cellular tracking, but it still faces the same limitations. Some communities have a smaller number of hotspots, so your phone can hardly track the location. 

Also, the WiFi network is only active when your phone is near the WiFi signal range. If you reside in a remote area with no WIFI connection or have turned off WiFi on your phone, this tracking method doesn’t apply to you.

Bluetooth and NFC Tracking

Your phone uses two other wireless technologies to locate the location: Bluetooth and near-field communication (NFC). Likewise, WiFi and cellular tracking, Bluetooth, and NFC also divide your position depending on the force of signals from neighboring devices.

Furthermore, Bluetooth and NFC have less range than WiFi and cellular networks, making them significantly suitable for innermost tracking or particular location services. For instance, a museum uses Bluetooth signals to give guided tours or unveil subsidiary information about exhibits.

Moreover, both tracking methods can be used for social networking and contact tracking. For instance, apps like Google’s Find My Device and Apple’s Find My utilize Bluetooth to determine whether your phone if you lost or stolen, and contact tracing applications use it to locate hidden risks of COVID-19.

Metadata and App permissions

Apart from the above methods, there are other ways that your phone might track location even when you have switched off the location services. Among these methods is metadata. 

This means your phone gathers information about the usage of the phone via a phone carrier or service provider. This information is valuable to advertisers targeting people with suitable ads or products.

Another way is app permissions. When you download any app, you usually get a notification to permit access to various phone parts like the microphone, camera, contacts, and location. Permitting them means you allow them to access your location.


In conclusion, nowadays, people are aware that their phones can be tracked too, yet there are several ways to track the location while your location settings are off. It is essential to know that you allow access to unknown sources about your location with simple steps. 

So, you need to be conscious of those methods, too. Moreover, by using a fast and reliable VPN, you can be safe from big trouble.

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