AirTags can compromise humanitarian aid. How to detect them?

During the war in Ukraine, one of the fronts that helps people to remain safe is volunteer work. Volunteers help everyone they can, including the military. But the enemy is always on the lookout. Not only volunteers who are concerned about the safety of their cargo can put Apple AirTag trackers in their humanitarian aid packages, but Russians can also use them maliciously since the device is affordable, easy to use, and small in size.

The editor of AIN.Capital explains how to detect an AirTag if you were bugged.

Short version:

  • If you have an iPhone, the system will warn you about someone else’s AirTag near you.
  • If you have Android — download the app Detector and select the scan function.

Long version:

What is AirTag?

AirTag is a small tracking device. Once activated, the tracking beacon appears on the map in the Locator app, making it easy to see where one or more AirTags are located, even at a long distance.

AirTag itself can work for a year. It is moisture-resistant and connects in seconds.

Apple creApple created the gadget to protect people from losing their belongings: put one in a bag and always know where it is. But almost immediately, some people started using it for stalking. That is why Apple has developed a system of protection against such actions.

How to detect AirTag?

  • If you have an iPhone, the system itself will warn you about the detection of someone else’s AirTag near you and push-notify you. Moreover, if the tracker has been near you for some time, the system will even show the earlier route. For example, you were given a backpack with someone else’s AirTag. You took it and left. As soon as you start moving, your iPhone will send a notification about an AirTag tracking you. You can turn on the sound to detect it.
  • If you have an Android, Apple has released a special app Detector, which helps to detect other people’s AirTag near you. For this, there is a special scan button, which will detect nearby trackers.
  • If you have an old-school phone — trouble. You need to look through stuff before accepting something from strangers.

Apple assures it is doing its best to make AirTag a device that keeps track of your belongings, not stalking other people. Nevertheless, cases like this happen from time to time. The guide helps find the gadget, but one still has to be careful.