Apple AirTags can be used to track unsuspecting victims — here's how to disable it

(Image credit: Apple)

Apple has finally revealed its long-awaited AirTag tracking device, which can help you quickly track down your lost keys, wallet, and any other misplaced items. Unfortunately, this means it can also be used to track you.

Owners of a registered AirTag have the ability to see the location of the Bluetooth tracking device via Apple’s Find My software, meaning wrongdoers with malicious intent could plant an AirTag on your person. The good news? The tech giant has already taken precautions to prevent this kind of tracking. 

Apple AirTag

(Image credit: Apple)

Apple has made it a point to prevent unwanted tracking by introducing several security features to its new AirTag. This includes disabling an unknown AirTag you might find on you.

An unsuspecting owner will be notified via a Find My message stating "AirTag Found Moving With You," if the unknown tracking device has been separated from its original owner and has been traveling with you for a long period of time.  

That's not all, as an AirTag will also make a sound to alert those nearby if it has been separated from the person who registered it. This will let you pinpoint where it is.

This isn't just limited to iOS or iPadOS. A near-field communication (NFC) capable smartphone, whether it be an iPhone or Android phone, will be able to see these notifications, play sounds, and will be able to find out if its owner marked it as lost. 

How to disable an Apple AirTag

Once the message is received, tap on it and then tap "Continue." You will be given the option to tap "Play Sound" if you need help locating the unknown AirTag.

From here, you can tap "Learn About This AirTag" to check its serial number and see if the owner marked it as lost.

If not, you can disable the AirTag and stop sharing your location by tapping "Instructions to Disable AirTag." You will then need to follow the onscreen steps to disable it.

Apple also recommends contacting local law enforcement who will work with Apple if you feel your safety is at risk.

The tech company also states its AirTags won’t store any location data or history inside the device, and will also use end-to-end encryption to keep the communications between the tracker and the Find My Network app secure.

It's important to note if the AirTag is within range of the person who registered it, you also won't be able to play a sound. Apple hasn't mentioned what the range limit is until playing a sound is possible.

The AirTag wasn't the only device announced at the recent Apple Event, as the company also unveiled its iPad Pro 2021 and iMac designs. 

Darragh Murphy

Darragh Murphy is fascinated by all things bizarre, which usually leads to assorted coverage varying from washing machines designed for AirPods to the mischievous world of cyberattacks. Whether it's connecting Scar from The Lion King to two-factor authentication or turning his love for gadgets into a fabricated rap battle from 8 Mile, he believes there’s always a quirky spin to be made. With a Master’s degree in Magazine Journalism from The University of Sheffield, along with short stints at Kerrang! and Exposed Magazine, Darragh started his career writing about the tech industry at Time Out Dubai and ShortList Dubai, covering everything from the latest iPhone models and Huawei laptops to massive Esports events in the Middle East. Now, he can be found proudly diving into gaming, gadgets, and letting readers know the joys of docking stations for Laptop Mag.