How to Stop your Phone’s WiFi from Revealing your Location?

How to Stop your Phone's Wifi from Revealing your Location

Your wifi name is enough for someone to find where you live because your mobile phone transmits your wifi name continuously, and it’s easy to track your location through these signals. However, it will take a few minutes to stop sending your location. In this article, we have shared some of the fantastic tricks related to your location transmission via phone’s wifi.

My Device Shares which Kind of Data?

Your smartphone searches for the trusted networks which have already added on your mobile. Whenever you get in the radius of that trusted network, your smartphone automatically connects with it. It may look convenient to you because you don’t have to enter the login key of the router but broadcasting the joining requests continually, your smartphone shares a lot of personal information about you.

  1. It transmits the SSID data of your device. This data discloses all the trusted networks which you have added on your device.
  2. It shares the unique MAC address of your mobile which sent the request. This MAC address gives information about the manufacturer of the device.
  3. MAC address of the connected router.

All this information can be processed in one form or another. Several applications can gather the names of all wifi surrounding, like your home network. Such information is then shared with the public websites, and these websites make heatmaps of the wifi-networks.

These websites can gather your data even if you don’t have such kind of apps installed because if your neighbours have installed the apps, they can receive the signals of your hotspot and share your data.

These websites are accessible for everyone, so anyone forms your office or college can collect the data of your device. They can also access your location through these websites. So, they just need the name of your wifi network. They have to enter the name of wifi network in the search bar of these data collecting websites, and that’s it. They will have a complete and exact location of your house.

How can Cybercriminals use your data?

An ordinary man can easily find the location of your house so hackers can also locate it. The joining requests from your device are combined with the data of Wingle can be very helpful for them. It requires some technical knowledge.

  1. Hackers use the technique of social engineering and find the SSID name of your device. They can send you the phishing emails and request you to confirm the details of your connection.
  2. Another method which is widely used, they can call you and claim to be the representatives of your ISP. They can ask your connection details through this method.
  3. Your device sends probes, and hackers use the specific wifi scanners which can catch the inquiries of your device. These scanners are readily available in the market.

All that they have to do is just place the scanner near your device. They can put it near the table in your college canteen, under the bench in your favourite park or simply they can carry it in their shoulder bag. You probably wouldn’t notice this, but the scanner can automatically log all the local wifi requests to join.

Cybercriminals can select the public areas to scan more devices which are searching for the wifi. They can also target some specific building like an office or a Bank.  

The captured probes through the scanner are then examined with software. All the captured probes can be watched live, or they can let the scanner collect the raw data of your mobile phone.

By using this data, it is so simple for them to see the trusted networks and local networks of your device. From the data of trusted networks, they can find your location by using heatmaps.

You can secure the data of your device by following the given steps.

1. Turn off SSID broadcasting

This is the best option to protect your data. Disable your SSI broadcasting and by doing so the wifi name of your router will not be shown on any heat map. Your neighbours will also not be able to locate your wifi network. This method will secure your data, but you will have to connect manually with your wifi network each time.

Disabling the network is not so complicated. Login as admin into your router and go to the broadcast settings. Disable the SSID broadcasting option there. Contact your manufacturer if you could not disable it on your own. You can also watch the Youtube tutorials of disabling SSID Broadcasting.  

2. Change or Turn off the wifi settings of your device. 

When your phone connects with a wifi network, it doesn’t stop scanning the other networks in your area. So you have to turn it off completely. You can use the connected network wifi and stop your mobile from scanning the available networks.

Android users can follow these steps.

  • Go to the “settings” of your mobile.
  • Move to “Security and Privacy”
  • Find the option of Location access and click on it
  • Now go to “Wifi scanning” from “Advanced Settings.”

The users of iPhone can follow these steps for turning off the wifi settings.

  • Connect with the wifi network of your home and open “Settings” in your device.
  • Move to the “Wifi” and select the icon of “Information” located next to home wifi.
  • Now Untick the option of “Auto-join”.
  • You can still access the saved wifi networks manually.
3. Change the Strength of your wifi

Many people believe that the better the wifi signal, the better your connection to the Internet. You’re going to get a good signal if your device is in the open area instead of in your bedroom. But it doesn’t need to be in an open area so that your neighbours could use it too.

Reduce the strength of wifi signals of your device. You can do this by adjusting the placement of your device or by changing its settings. Some routers these days include a ‘radio control’ setting that will fix the reach of your signals. Consult the technical manual of your router for clear instructions.

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