When you turn a phone off, it goes black. However, advancements in phone development show that there is more that goes on behind that empty screen of nothingness. Even a dead battery won’t save you from these threats. Tests have shown this to be the case specifically with modern IPhones, but similar technology rolled out on models of different brands suggest that this “sleep” activity may be becoming a more widespread feature. Here are 3 reasons why turning your phone off or using airplane mode is just not enough.
- “Find My” is watching
The “Find My” feature is a lifesaver. How often do we lose our phones only for “Find My” to bail us out and show us where it is? Its strength is also a danger, however. Due to Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) anybody with your Apple ID credentials is able to locate your phone even when turned off. Other tracking capabilities from other phone models will likely use this same firmware. Whether they already know the credentials, or they manage to crack it and get through, without a Faraday Bag, they will be able to track the phone.
- Time to Pay Up
Your phone is more often at risk in large public places. If you have any credit cards set up on your phone and are able to use them without authentication (Express cards), then your payment info can be stolen without you ever knowing a thing. Without a Faraday bag cutting off all of the signal from your phone, your Express card is just waiting to be used in public, without your knowledge.
- Hello, Malware
Now, let’s revisit Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). As we mentioned in the “Find My” section, this feature does not need a phone turned on in order to operate. Though the technology to do this would need to be very sophisticated, somebody could place malware on your device in the Bluetooth Low Energy mode. The skill that this would take would need to be done by a very advanced hacker or government, but is still not out of the picture, especially if you have very sensitive information stored on your phone, or if you are in a private location.
Out of the 3 reasons listed, Tracking is the easiest, most common, and most likely to happen. Criminals can track where their devices are taken. Stalkers can follow their subjects. Abusers can keep close tabs on those they are abusing. Anybody with a phone with BLE can be tracked. With the arrival of 5G, signals are stronger than ever, and many Faraday bags that were once useful are now useless, which is why we use 3 layers of shielding to fully block the signals. As the digital world is growing stronger and more stealthy in its surveillance and manipulation capabilities, our Faraday bags play a large role in both personal safety and device security.