Home Information technology Can Your Mobile Phone be a Safety Tool for You?

Can Your Mobile Phone be a Safety Tool for You?

by Isiyaku Ahmed
0 comment

Ibrahim Sule

“I am curious with tech”

I think the answer is yes. Our phones are our closest best friends and if our phone’s location will be known, our own location is known too. In fact, the saying “show me your friend and I will say who you are” should in this age be replaced with “show me the content of your phone and I will say who you are”!

In the last few months, everyday you listen to the radio, or you watch television or you go through social media the news is everywhere- that someone or a whole community is just ‘kidnapped’ and the whereabout is unknown. We are everyday moving from one level of insecurity to the next. It is only in Nigeria that a whole community can be kidnapped. Yes, a whole community! If in a small village over 30 people are kidnapped, what remains of that community.

No one can say one cannot be a victim, any day any time – one can only pray one shouldn’t be a victim. Is not about who you are or what you have or where you come from. Of lawyers – the big names, judges and justices of courts have fallen prey. Of doctors and lecturers, of drivers and farmers, of students and travellers, none is spared.

In addition to prayers, which I know Nigerians might have set a new Guiness Record, one can also make use of technology to arm oneself in case it happens to one or to one’s own friend, Allah Ya kiyaye.

There are many ways, ranging from buying and using some discreet personal rechargeable trackers that can be used as necklaces, belt heads or hidden inside wallets or kids school bags, to using some built-in or third-party apps on our mobile phones. As far as I know, the easiest is by using the built-in or third-party apps in our mobile phones that are preinstalled or available in apps stores for android, iOS, symbian, should I also say BlackBerry (is like we don’t use them any more).  We can also use our laptops to access some of these platforms.

WhatsApp, Snap chat and Facebook too have location services that you can activate so that anyone you choose can know your location at a given time and in real time. I will be showing you how to use Google services and some preinstalled apps here to locate precise or last known locations of loved ones in case they are missing.

Important points:

1. Take note that, to track or know someone’s location you must activate the tracking or location service or install the tracking app on your phone prior to the happening of the event necessitating the track

2. You must also involve someone and allow him or her to know that you are using the app or the service so that he or she can help track your location in case you are in danger. So, your spouse can be a good material here, if you can allow her/him know your Google password! Many of us I know would be between the devil and a deep blue sea here – to allow your wife or husband access your Google account or risk staying long, incommunicado in the kidnapper’s den! Of course, there are tricky ways for tracking someone remotely without physical installation of third-party apps, I am not going into those technical details now.

3. You must activate location services on your phone and you must activate your data or leave it activated all the times, for, one may not have time to activate it by the time one is being ‘mishandled’

4. Finally, but most importantly, you must have your Google account activated on that phone or register/activate your phone’s peculiar cloud service like Samsung Cloud/account for Samsung phones, iCloud for iPhones and iPads or Huawei account for Huawei phones.  I am restricting myself to using Google and Samsung services, but other phones too, in addition to the general Google tracking platforms, they too have their own, Huawei, LG, Techno, Lenovo, Xiaomi etc. All android phones, excluding some huawei brands have Google Services preinstalled and to use the phone one must activate Google Services by registering Google account.

How do we do that:

All android and ios (iPhones) have location services in the settings. To activate it, go to settings, seach ‘location services’, find it and activate it.

The following are the quickest and easiest platforms preinstalled with our phones:

1. Google Find my Device-

Until 2017, it used to be called Device Manager. In many android phones it came preinstalled. If it is not, you can find it on Google Play Store free. Download it and install. Then sign in with your Google account details. Note that, you can have as many Google account as possible. Therefore, you must not use your main Google account for this purpose if you fear someone at home shouldn’t know what you Google in and Google out! You can create another Google account for anti kidnapping if you don’t trust yourself to allow your wife or husband have access to your main Google account to track you even when you are kidnapped. Hmm, wahala de!

After signing in, you can see your phone’s location which obviously is your location. So, write down the details of that Google account you opened and keep it somewhere and let someone you trust know that if they didn’t hear from you for some time or think you have fallen prey to kidnapping gang, they can use it to track you using the app. Pls coach your wife or husband how to use the app and I pray when you need it used you didn’t quarrel or have some unsettled issues with your spouce because anything can happen. I mean anything can happen.

In addition to this you can use the app to track your stolen or lost phone, you can activate your phone to siren in case you misplaced it, you can erase all the data in case it is stolen.

Note that, as I have said you need to have mobile data on the phone and this means that the app can be used where there is network service only. However, your phone’s last location to have network can be seen if at all your data was switched on that time even when network goes off.

When the person being tracked has Find my Device app installed or activated, the person tracking him doesn’t need to have it on his phone, if he didn’t like. Just go to

https://www.google.com/android/find on any phone or computer to login using the person’s Google account details to see where he is.

You can also use the following steps on any browser or internet connected device:

 *Step 1: Open Google on a Web Browser

Step 2: Type in Find my Device on Google Search Box and Select Find My Device

Step 3: Log in with your Google Account connected with the Phone.

Step 4: Choose the Device you want to track, play sound, set up, secure and erase. *

Note- your phone uses GPS (Global Positioning System) to get your location which is builtin all phones. But communicating with it on most phones requires the use GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) also built-in now in all phones through which data is accessed. Both GPS and GPRS are needed to track your location. Of course, through some apps, your phone’s location can be known using GPS only even if data is switched off on your phone and therefore GPRS is inaccessible- I m not going into those technicalities. This is where using personal discreet trackers is handy, because you can be tracked without using any mobile phone data.

2. Using Google Maps

This is one of my favourite ways of getting the location of phones and missing persons. In fact through Google Maps so many other things are possible in terms of location sharing and phone locations. 

How to do it:

-Google Maps must have been preinstalled on your phone or iOS, if not go to App Store or Play Store to install it

-Sign into your Google account and look up (in the application), left of the search box you will see three lines, click on them and look to see some dropped options among which is ‘Location Sharing’

-Click on Location Sharing’ and you will be prompted with “Let friends know where you are – GET STARTED” and click on GET STARTED it will take you to:

 “Share your real time location” – you will see options. I advise you select ” until you turn this off”. So that your location is known every time until you decide to turn it off.

Look a little down, you can select to share your location with loved ones by clicking on ” Select people” – there you can select the persons you will like to share your location with by inserting his or her gmail email address (other non gmail email may do too.). The person you choose will be getting email with a link to your location every time you move metres away.

And the moment he opens that email and click on ” View on Google Map” he will see your real location and can see directions to the place. You too, if you like can request the person you shared your location with to share his location with you. You can choose to hide your location, block any location request and do a lot. With some technical tricks you can also use non gmail email address, but using Google email is better as it is faster and safer.

You can follow similar way on iPhone but you have to install Google maps on your iPhone.

3. Find my Mobile – Samsung or Huawei’s Phone Finder

If your phone is Samsung, *go to

Settings > Lock Screen and Security > Find My Mobile. * If prompted, sign into your Samsung account to enable the feature.

No mobile app to install but you can use any mobile phone or desktop browser and go to

https://findmymobile.samsung.com/

Sign in to your samsung account and start tracking your phone or location of the owner of the phone, if he and the phone are still together. Not only that, through the website you can copy text messages and call logs and contacts remotely from that missing phone. You can lock and wipe the phone completely if you want so that your stored data shall never be used.

If your phone is Huawei you can use the Google Find my Device by searching and activating it in settings.

4. Using third party downloadable phone monitoring and family location apps. There are thousands of apps on Google Play and App Store that can be used to monitor how one’s phone is being used and same platform can be used to remotely locate someone’s or someone’s phone whereabout. Some can also be used to connect family members location so that each member connected will see and know the whereabout of the other connected member and see his location on map. Parents use it to geopence the location of their kids so that if the kids go outside some geographical radius the app alerts the parents for them to see where their kids are. You can also create ‘ Circle of friends’ using these apps so that any friend withing the group will be notified if a member leaves or arrives or changes destination.

– Life360’s Family Locator which is available both for android and iOS makes it easy for members of family, group or friends to stay connected live on map and see the whereabout of one another real.

– MyFamily is another awesome app which provides real time location finder service allowing relatives to privately share their location. MyFamily can locate you and your loved ones on a shared, private map.

– Some built-in antitheft services in a number of mobilephone antivirus app can also be utilised for security and safety purposes.

A good example is Avast Mobile Antivirus, whereby its Antitheft service can be used to remotely locate any phone on which it is installed. And should the thief attempt to login or unlock the phone by wrong pin or password or unrecognised fingerprint his photo would be secretly captured and sent to a personally chosen email address. And if the old sim is removed by the thief, the moment he inserts his new sim, the app will ‘steal’ the thief’s new phone number and send to a predetermined phone number for you to know who your thief is and many more. AVG, Kerspersky, Avira, McAfee and other similar prominent mobile phone anti viruses have similar features.

– WhatsApp also has live location alerts to the other selected WhatsApp accounts/selected users. But that has to be activated. Go to Settings, then Account, then Privacy, then Live location.

And in case you feel in danger, WhatsApp can be of great help. Open chat with any person, down where you attach files and photos to chat, select location and click your real location on map will be shared to the person and when he clicks on the message your real location will be seen not only as at the time you shared your location with him but your location will be updated to where you precisely are when the message is opened and your direction can be traced. Note that to use WhatsApp location service you have to grant permission to WhatsApp to use your location. So go to your phone settings, go to Apps, click and go to down to find WhatsApp, click and go down to Permission and grant Location permission.

Finally, Facebook and Snapchat too are handy in knowing or sharing your location. I will not talk about them because to use them to know your whereabout in cases of kidnapping you must allow your spouse have access to your Facebook or Snap chat account and I believe this is matrimonial suicidal.

I pray you learn but I pray you never use what you learn to trace your stolen or lost phone or to locate your missing or kidnapped loved one. May the beautiful palms of God touch the hearts of all kidnappers to stop the evil act forever and be good members of our society.

Ibrahim Sule

“I am curious with tech”

I think the answer is yes. Our phones are our closest best friends and if our phone’s location will be known, our own location is known too. In fact, the saying “show me your friend and I will say who you are” should in this age be replaced with “show me the content of your phone and I will say who you are”!

In the last few months, everyday you listen to the radio, or you watch television or you go through social media the news is everywhere- that someone or a whole community is just ‘kidnapped’ and the whereabout is unknown. We are everyday moving from one level of insecurity to the next. It is only in Nigeria that a whole community can be kidnapped. Yes, a whole community! If in a small village over 30 people are kidnapped, what remains of that community.

No one can say one cannot be a victim, any day any time – one can only pray one shouldn’t be a victim. Is not about who you are or what you have or where you come from. Of lawyers – the big names, judges and justices of courts have fallen prey. Of doctors and lecturers, of drivers and farmers, of students and travellers, none is spared.

In addition to prayers, which I know Nigerians might have set a new Guiness Record, one can also make use of technology to arm oneself in case it happens to one or to one’s own friend, Allah Ya kiyaye.

There are many ways, ranging from buying and using some discreet personal rechargeable trackers that can be used as necklaces, belt heads or hidden inside wallets or kids school bags, to using some built-in or third-party apps on our mobile phones. As far as I know, the easiest is by using the built-in or third-party apps in our mobile phones that are preinstalled or available in apps stores for android, iOS, symbian, should I also say BlackBerry (is like we don’t use them any more).  We can also use our laptops to access some of these platforms.

WhatsApp, Snap chat and Facebook too have location services that you can activate so that anyone you choose can know your location at a given time and in real time. I will be showing you how to use Google services and some preinstalled apps here to locate precise or last known locations of loved ones in case they are missing.

Important points:

1. Take note that, to track or know someone’s location you must activate the tracking or location service or install the tracking app on your phone prior to the happening of the event necessitating the track

2. You must also involve someone and allow him or her to know that you are using the app or the service so that he or she can help track your location in case you are in danger. So, your spouse can be a good material here, if you can allow her/him know your Google password! Many of us I know would be between the devil and a deep blue sea here – to allow your wife or husband access your Google account or risk staying long, incommunicado in the kidnapper’s den! Of course, there are tricky ways for tracking someone remotely without physical installation of third-party apps, I am not going into those technical details now.

3. You must activate location services on your phone and you must activate your data or leave it activated all the times, for, one may not have time to activate it by the time one is being ‘mishandled’

4. Finally, but most importantly, you must have your Google account activated on that phone or register/activate your phone’s peculiar cloud service like Samsung Cloud/account for Samsung phones, iCloud for iPhones and iPads or Huawei account for Huawei phones.  I am restricting myself to using Google and Samsung services, but other phones too, in addition to the general Google tracking platforms, they too have their own, Huawei, LG, Techno, Lenovo, Xiaomi etc. All android phones, excluding some huawei brands have Google Services preinstalled and to use the phone one must activate Google Services by registering Google account.

How do we do that:

All android and ios (iPhones) have location services in the settings. To activate it, go to settings, seach ‘location services’, find it and activate it.

The following are the quickest and easiest platforms preinstalled with our phones:

1. Google Find my Device-

Until 2017, it used to be called Device Manager. In many android phones it came preinstalled. If it is not, you can find it on Google Play Store free. Download it and install. Then sign in with your Google account details. Note that, you can have as many Google account as possible. Therefore, you must not use your main Google account for this purpose if you fear someone at home shouldn’t know what you Google in and Google out! You can create another Google account for anti kidnapping if you don’t trust yourself to allow your wife or husband have access to your main Google account to track you even when you are kidnapped. Hmm, wahala de!

After signing in, you can see your phone’s location which obviously is your location. So, write down the details of that Google account you opened and keep it somewhere and let someone you trust know that if they didn’t hear from you for some time or think you have fallen prey to kidnapping gang, they can use it to track you using the app. Pls coach your wife or husband how to use the app and I pray when you need it used you didn’t quarrel or have some unsettled issues with your spouce because anything can happen. I mean anything can happen.

In addition to this you can use the app to track your stolen or lost phone, you can activate your phone to siren in case you misplaced it, you can erase all the data in case it is stolen.

Note that, as I have said you need to have mobile data on the phone and this means that the app can be used where there is network service only. However, your phone’s last location to have network can be seen if at all your data was switched on that time even when network goes off.

When the person being tracked has Find my Device app installed or activated, the person tracking him doesn’t need to have it on his phone, if he didn’t like. Just go to

https://www.google.com/android/find on any phone or computer to login using the person’s Google account details to see where he is.

You can also use the following steps on any browser or internet connected device:

 *Step 1: Open Google on a Web Browser

Step 2: Type in Find my Device on Google Search Box and Select Find My Device

Step 3: Log in with your Google Account connected with the Phone.

Step 4: Choose the Device you want to track, play sound, set up, secure and erase. *

Note- your phone uses GPS (Global Positioning System) to get your location which is builtin all phones. But communicating with it on most phones requires the use GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) also built-in now in all phones through which data is accessed. Both GPS and GPRS are needed to track your location. Of course, through some apps, your phone’s location can be known using GPS only even if data is switched off on your phone and therefore GPRS is inaccessible- I m not going into those technicalities. This is where using personal discreet trackers is handy, because you can be tracked without using any mobile phone data.

2. Using Google Maps

This is one of my favourite ways of getting the location of phones and missing persons. In fact through Google Maps so many other things are possible in terms of location sharing and phone locations. 

How to do it:

-Google Maps must have been preinstalled on your phone or iOS, if not go to App Store or Play Store to install it

-Sign into your Google account and look up (in the application), left of the search box you will see three lines, click on them and look to see some dropped options among which is ‘Location Sharing’

-Click on Location Sharing’ and you will be prompted with “Let friends know where you are – GET STARTED” and click on GET STARTED it will take you to:

 “Share your real time location” – you will see options. I advise you select ” until you turn this off”. So that your location is known every time until you decide to turn it off.

Look a little down, you can select to share your location with loved ones by clicking on ” Select people” – there you can select the persons you will like to share your location with by inserting his or her gmail email address (other non gmail email may do too.). The person you choose will be getting email with a link to your location every time you move metres away.

And the moment he opens that email and click on ” View on Google Map” he will see your real location and can see directions to the place. You too, if you like can request the person you shared your location with to share his location with you. You can choose to hide your location, block any location request and do a lot. With some technical tricks you can also use non gmail email address, but using Google email is better as it is faster and safer.

You can follow similar way on iPhone but you have to install Google maps on your iPhone.

3. Find my Mobile – Samsung or Huawei’s Phone Finder

If your phone is Samsung, *go to

Settings > Lock Screen and Security > Find My Mobile. * If prompted, sign into your Samsung account to enable the feature.

No mobile app to install but you can use any mobile phone or desktop browser and go to

https://findmymobile.samsung.com/

Sign in to your samsung account and start tracking your phone or location of the owner of the phone, if he and the phone are still together. Not only that, through the website you can copy text messages and call logs and contacts remotely from that missing phone. You can lock and wipe the phone completely if you want so that your stored data shall never be used.

If your phone is Huawei you can use the Google Find my Device by searching and activating it in settings.

4. Using third party downloadable phone monitoring and family location apps. There are thousands of apps on Google Play and App Store that can be used to monitor how one’s phone is being used and same platform can be used to remotely locate someone’s or someone’s phone whereabout. Some can also be used to connect family members location so that each member connected will see and know the whereabout of the other connected member and see his location on map. Parents use it to geopence the location of their kids so that if the kids go outside some geographical radius the app alerts the parents for them to see where their kids are. You can also create ‘ Circle of friends’ using these apps so that any friend withing the group will be notified if a member leaves or arrives or changes destination.

– Life360’s Family Locator which is available both for android and iOS makes it easy for members of family, group or friends to stay connected live on map and see the whereabout of one another real.

– MyFamily is another awesome app which provides real time location finder service allowing relatives to privately share their location. MyFamily can locate you and your loved ones on a shared, private map.

– Some built-in antitheft services in a number of mobilephone antivirus app can also be utilised for security and safety purposes.

A good example is Avast Mobile Antivirus, whereby its Antitheft service can be used to remotely locate any phone on which it is installed. And should the thief attempt to login or unlock the phone by wrong pin or password or unrecognised fingerprint his photo would be secretly captured and sent to a personally chosen email address. And if the old sim is removed by the thief, the moment he inserts his new sim, the app will ‘steal’ the thief’s new phone number and send to a predetermined phone number for you to know who your thief is and many more. AVG, Kerspersky, Avira, McAfee and other similar prominent mobile phone anti viruses have similar features.

– WhatsApp also has live location alerts to the other selected WhatsApp accounts/selected users. But that has to be activated. Go to Settings, then Account, then Privacy, then Live location.

And in case you feel in danger, WhatsApp can be of great help. Open chat with any person, down where you attach files and photos to chat, select location and click your real location on map will be shared to the person and when he clicks on the message your real location will be seen not only as at the time you shared your location with him but your location will be updated to where you precisely are when the message is opened and your direction can be traced. Note that to use WhatsApp location service you have to grant permission to WhatsApp to use your location. So go to your phone settings, go to Apps, click and go to down to find WhatsApp, click and go down to Permission and grant Location permission.

Finally, Facebook and Snapchat too are handy in knowing or sharing your location. I will not talk about them because to use them to know your whereabout in cases of kidnapping you must allow your spouse have access to your Facebook or Snap chat account and I believe this is matrimonial suicidal.

I pray you learn but I pray you never use what you learn to trace your stolen or lost phone or to locate your missing or kidnapped loved one. May the beautiful palms of God touch the hearts of all kidnappers to stop the evil act forever and be good members of our society.

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