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Privacy

Apple makes big changes to keep AirTags from being used to track you

Face it: you’re human and you’re going to lose stuff. Where are the car keys when you need them most? Oh right, always in the last place you look. And where is that remote control?

GPS trackers exist to help you keep track of your things, and Apple’s AirTags have exploded in popularity since being introduced this year. Attach one to anything and it will always be in the first place you look. They have more uses beyond the obvious, however. Think keeping tabs on your kids and pets or tracking a commonly stolen item like a purse. Tap or click here for 10 ways to use your AirTags.

All is not well in the world of these useful little gadgets, however. It turns out that they put your privacy at risk using the one function they were designed for. Read on for more details.

Tracking more than just your stuff

It turns out that someone can use AirTags to track others without their knowledge. They can slip it onto your person or an article of clothing or bag and then track you from their phone. It takes three days before the device beeps to alert its presence to its missing owner. Imagine someone tracking your movements for all that time.

Fortunately, Apple is taking this seriously and changing the timing of the alert. It will now beep randomly between eight and 24 hours after being separated from its owner. Apple is also putting out an Android App that will help users detect an AirTag or another Find My device that may be on them.

Can’t decide between AirTags and Tile trackers? Tap or click here to read our comparison.

Updating your AirTags

Just as with Apple’s AirPods, you don’t need to update your AirTags proactively. The firmware updates are installed automatically when the device is in range of your phone.

But you can check the firmware version by opening the Find My app and tapping on the Items tab. Tap on AirTags from the list, then tap on your AirTags and you’ll see the firmware version. Do you see 1.0.276? Then you have the latest update. If not, give it some more time.

AirTags are not always easy to find but you can still find them online. Tap or click here to get yours.

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