Apple is finally updating its AirTags with new security features that help improve user privacy. The update would prevent stalkers from tracking your movement within the 800 feet range of AirTags. There are also tips you can follow to protect yourself from any similar attempts.
Last month, AirTags was tested and proven as a next-generation spy gadget materials that malicious actors could exploit in many different ways. Reports include using AirTags in two inconspicuous methods.
Apple AirTags Hack Lets Stalkers Follow You
AirTags could be used as a stalking device. The Apple trackers are small and very efficient in reporting their location down to the last few inches of distance. Stalkers can simply drop their AirTags in your pocket, bag, or car without your knowledge. Within the 800-feet range of AirTags, stalkers can trace your movement through their iPhone.
AirTags could also be used to send malicious content. Colin O'Flynn and a bunch of hardware researchers have successfully hacked into the AirTags firmware, and their results are posted on the internet. If you know a bit of coding, their research will help you reprogram the AirTags completely! Instead of broadcasting its location, AirTags could broadcast malicious links or multimedia content to any Apple device that can detect it.
How to Download Update 1.0.276
Mashable reported that Apple is finally improving the privacy and security features for their AirTags. Some of the changes Apple users can expect are:
- New proactive features that discourage unwanted tracking
- AirTags that are separated from their owner will play a sound. The time period is changed from three days to a random time between eight to 24 hours.
- Later this year, Android will get an application that lets users detect an AirTag or Find My network-enabled accessory separated from its owner that may be traveling with them.
These features will be available in firmware version 1.0.276. The update will be installed automatically to your AirTags when it is in range of your iPhone (similar to how AirPods receive their updates).
9to5Mac reported that you can check if your AirTags firmware has been updated to its latest version through your iPhone. To do that, open your Find My application, search through the Items tab and choose your AirTag from the list. Tap the name of the AirTag, and it will show the serial number and firmware version used.
Note that if you do not see the firmware version 1.0.276, you cannot force the update manually. Instead, keep your iPhone and AirTags in range so the update would run automatically when it is available.
How to Protect Yourself From Apple AirTags Hack
Unfortunately, stalkers and malicious actors might choose not to update their AirTags to avoid security features and extra detection. Therefore, you need to protect yourself from their attempts to exploit the AirTags functions.
Keep an eye on yourself and your surrounding for inconspicuous AirTag drops. If your iPhone gets an "Unwanted AirTag" notification, search for the device immediately. Mashable reported that you should take out the battery to disable any other malicious attempts.
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