Copyright (c) 2012 Mike Miscal
If you’ve ever used a GPS tracking device to keep tabs on someone or something, or perhaps you’re thinking about doing so in the future, be warned: the devices are not foolproof. Even the Spark Nano 3.0, as good as it is, can be detected and disabled by someone who knows what they’re doing. It’s advisable that you never reveal the use of a tracker if you’re forced to confront someone with the data you’ve collected. As soon as he or she finds out you’re using one, steps can be taken to render it ineffective.
Consider the following:
1. Signal Detection Devices – While a standard RF signal detector is fairly useless against a device like the Spark Nano, technology has advanced to the point where devices are now being manufactured that are specifically designed to detect signals from a GPS tracker. That’s one of the reasons why you should limit the frequency of data transfers whenever possible. For example, the Nano allows you to set the time interval for data transfer to one, five, or 10 minutes. Unless you specifically need updates every minute, set the default to ten.
2. GPS Jammers – Though many states have outlawed these devices due to the fact that they interfere with other legitimate radio signals, they are still sold online or in auto parts shops, no questions asked. People are buying jamming devices and using them to thwart GPS trackers. The upside is that they are fairly effective in breaking the link between the device and the satellite. The downside is that they’re effective range is very limited.
3. Tried and True Aluminum Foil – One of the best and easiest ways to interfere with a GPS tracking device is to cover it, or its antenna, with aluminum foil. More than one truck driver has done just this very thing in order to prevent his company from keeping tabs on him when he’s goofing off. The same can be said about individuals going through a divorce who find a GPS tracker on the vehicle but don’t want the other person to know it’s been found. The fact is that GPS devices can be disabled pretty easily.
If It’s a Secret, Keep It a Secret
If you’re using your Spark Nano for open surveillance, such as keeping track of your teen drivers, then don’t try to hide it. Mount it right on the dashboard and instruct your teens of your plans to pay attention to them. On the other hand, if your surveillance is intended to be a secret, keep it that way. Even if you find sufficient evidence that the person you’re tracking is misbehaving, they don’t need to know how it came about that information.
GPS tracking equipment is now here to stay in American culture. Learning how the technology works is the best way to use it to your advantage, regardless of which end of the tracking you’re on. Just remember, the devices are not foolproof.