Since we wrote about Free Mobile Phone Tracking, we have been getting queries from a lot of users on “how to track a mobile phone by just having its number?” This can be either malicious or well-intentioned. But before we go into the details about all those websites which claim to track cell phones by just inputting a number, we would like to discuss a few things.
Table of Contents
Ethics of Cell phone tracking
Tracking someone else’s phone constitutes a major invasion of privacy, no doubts about it. This is irrespective of your intention being good or bad. Think again if this is the only way out for you, before proceeding further.
Idea behind Tracking Cell Phones
Most cell phone tracking methods work on the premise that the cell phone often “pings” the nearest cell operator’s towers.
GPS-enabled cell phones don’t require cell towers and may be located anywhere in the world by satellite triangulation in a similar manner. In some countries like the US, telecom companies are mandated to keep track of cell phones to an accuracy of 100 feet, so that help can be made available in case of emergency.
So far, so good. But is there a way to actually track or locate a mobile phone? Let us check the possible solutions-
So, what about all those free and paid websites claiming to track down any mobile phone on click of a button? The ones where you just need to put in the cell phone number in order to track it? Can they really track a phone?
In simple words, the answer is a big NO. I am yet to come across a website which actually works as claimed. Sites like “Reverse Phone Detective” or “Track the number” never seem to provide accurate location information.
Google the Phone number
If you’re trying to figure out the general location of the owner of the number, as opposed to real-time tracking, a good old fashioned Google search will probably do the trick. The person might have been un-paranoid (or unaware) enough to have it publicly posted on a social networking site, along with other potentially location-identifying information. Again, this is a small chance, and it won’t work in real-time.
Cell Phone Hacks
Theoretically and logically speaking tracking a cell phone is quite possible. Experienced hackers won’t have any problems with any of this. It is perfectly possible to track a cell phone’s location – after all, the cell operators do it – even if you just know the number and have had no physical access to it, without the user having any indication of this happening. While this hasn’t reached epidemic levels, the possibility is there.
Cell Phone Tracking Software
The only guaranteed way to really track a cell phone is through some sort of installed software on the device itself. There are lots of free and paid solutions for smartphones like Apple iPhones (iPhone Tracking solutions) and Blackberries, and even for general phones like Nokia S60 based phones.
However, this generally requires physical access to the phone, and consent of the user, both of which might be difficult to get, and probably defeats the point of what you’re trying to do here.
How hackers track a phone with its number?
You might have seen in the movies that as soon as a phone is switched on and SIM gets active, there is a small red light that starts blinking on the police department’s map. Well, apparently, the hackers replicate this technique to track any phone by just its number. Here are the steps involved:
Step 1: Check if the phone is switched on. This is absolutely essential.
Step 2: Send a hacking link containing a bug or a worm over by a text message. You may use any messaging app for this.
Step 3: The text should be convincing enough for the person using your phone to click on the link. Once he clicks, the software will auto-install the bug on your device.
Spying apps like Spyzie claims to do this for you easily without having to worry too much about bug/worm.
So tracking a cell phone by just having its number is not simple, unless you are/hire an experienced hacker, which isn’t a good idea anyway.