Before we tell you how to make your phone impossible to track, here are some facts proving we all should give more thought to personal cybersecurity:
- In 2022, a series of apps containing adware — i.e., software that populates smartphones with malicious pop-ups — was pulled from Google Play, but not before a million users had already downloaded them. [source: ZDNet]
- There’s strong evidence that governments around the globe monitor our online activity — from the websites we frequent to the emails we exchange with friends. [source: NBC News]
- Technology tycoons like Google, Meta, and Amazon collect heaps of your data. They know what you’re looking for on the Internet, remember your payment credentials, and trace your activity across third-party websites and apps. [source: Security.org]
Given that almost 60% of all web traffic now originates from smartphones, an increasing amount of personal information is intercepted by third parties.
And it’s one thing if they use it for remarketing. Things get worse when authoritarian governments and police leverage data to prosecute political opponents like they do in Russia, China, Myanmar, and even America.
Read on to learn how to make your phone impossible to track by the police, advertising companies, and hackers.
How to Make Your Phone Impossible to Track: A 7-Step Strategy From Cybersecurity Experts
Suppose you’re wondering how to make your iPhone or Android phone untraceable.
As the driving force behind 7VPN, the safest VPN service currently available on the market, we consider virtual private networks a silver-bullet solution to most cybersecurity and cybersurveillance problems. To most, but not all.
The best results can only be achieved by using a VPN product while following cybersecurity best practices.
Practical Tips on How to Make a Phone Untraceable
- Keep your phone updated. The second checkbox on our “How to Make Your Phone Impossible to Track” is upgrading your mobile device to the latest version of your operating system as soon as it becomes available. Such updates often include security patches that safeguard your phone against hackers and surveillance. But there’s a catch. iPhone users have no problem installing new software as the rollouts are handled by Apple directly. And while Google is responsible for maintaining Android in perfect shape, it’s usually Google-owned Pixel phones that get updates first. You can learn more about other Android manufacturers’ policies in this comprehensive article by Android Authority. In the meantime, consider downloading the Android VPN 7VPN service to keep your device safe.
- Use encrypted messengers. Messaging apps like WhatsApp, Telegram, and Signal use encryption technologies to secure user communication. One of the most common ways is asymmetric encryption driven by public and private keys. Other ways to protect data in messengers include time-bound self-destructing messages and chats and screenshotting restrictions.
- Beware of malicious apps. Our tips on how to make your phone untraceable would not be complete without mentioning third-party apps — especially those on Google Play, which is less picky than the App Store. Before downloading an application, check out its policy and determine how it will handle your data and what permissions it requires. If a particular app collects way more information than it should and does not specify how it will be used, avoid it at all costs.
- Disable location services. Many applications on your phone can collect your location data and share it with third-party services. To stop this spying activity, check your privacy settings and turn off location tracking. The same precautions apply to Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Consider disabling these services when not using them; otherwise, your phone will send out signals that other devices pick up, allowing the government and cybercriminals to track your whereabouts.
- Use a privacy screen protector. A simple gadget like a privacy screen protector can double-guard your phone. On the one hand, it protects your screen from scratches, which is useful. On the other, privacy screen protectors prevent shoulder-surfing events in public places and thus secure valuable information like passwords and PINs.
- Be careful with public Wi-Fi. Public Wi-Fi networks in coffee shops, fitness centers, and shopping malls can be insecure, allowing hackers and governmental agencies to intercept data between your device and the web services you visit. Therefore, we recommend you turn on a reliable VPN when using such networks.
How to Make a Phone Untrackable: A Note on Secure Browsers
Lastly, let’s talk about browsers that could make your phone untraceable when surfing the web.
You’ve probably heard about the Tor Browser — i.e., a network of virtual tunnels that helps use the Internet anonymously. Built on top of the Firefox browser, Tor is designed to protect user privacy and security. However, the traffic that passes the Tor nodes needs to be decrypted before accessing the open Internet, which leaves a security loophole for hackers and cybersurveillance specialists.
Some browsers, like Brave and Google Chrome, have built-in VPNs and protection against phishing and malware attacks.
But if you’re wondering how to make your phone 100% impossible to track, this level of protection will not suffice. So instead, install a VPN — and follow the cybersecurity tips cited in the previous section!
How to Make Your Phone Impossible to Track: Recap
Technology is emerging as a double-edged sword: alongside making our lives easier, it creates an enormous digital footprint that enables cybercrime and surveillance on a global level.
Our key recommendations on how to make your phone impossible to track by the police and other institutions revolve around using VPN solutions and keeping your phone updated. Other security tips include disabling location-tracking services when not using them, hand-picking applications you install on your smartphone, and being careful with public Wi-Fi networks.
And if you have any questions about 7VPN or cybersecurity in general, drop us a line!