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Are your Apple AirTags stalking you? Here’s how to fix it

An AirTag pairs with its owner’s iPhone, which gets secure updates about its whereabouts through the Find My app. Washington Post photo by Jonathan Baran

An AirTag pairs with its owner’s iPhone, which gets secure updates about its whereabouts through the Find My app. Washington Post photo by Jonathan Baran

Published May 9, 2022

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Johannesburg - While US electronics maker Apple work out kinks plaguing its AirTags, scores of users have reported complaints of their own devices ‘stalking’ them.

The coin-sized tracking devices are intended to be used to locate items or products they’re attached to. However, recently the devices have been reported to alert users of AirTags that may belong to them or that their AirTags have been stalking them.

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Earlier this year, Apple announced the anti-stalking feature, which was designed to discourage unwanted tracking.

“If someone else’s AirTag finds its way into your stuff, your iPhone will notice it’s travelling with you and send you an alert. After a while, if you still haven’t found it, the AirTag will start playing a sound to let you know it’s there,” Apple says, commenting on the feature.

While being a seemingly useful device and feature to locate consistently misplaced items such as keys, wallets and other ‘forgettables’ - scores of users have reported online, including on a Reddit thread, that their Apple devices have begun reportedly notifying them of AirTags that do not belong to them.

AirTags work through Apple’s Find My app used to locate Apple devices that support the feature and trigger notifications to the user’s Apple devices.

However, the false alarm has been purportedly alerting users of AirTags, belonging to other users that whom they may have come into contact.

Despite this, if AirTags have been set up correctly, many users have dismissed false reports. However, Apple is aware of the error after scores of complaints and working on the bug causing the issue.

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If you own AirTags and get an alert that an unknown AirTag, AirPods, or another Find My network accessory is travelling with you, follow these steps to find it:

Tap the alert notification that will.

Tap Continue and then tap Play Sound.

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Listen for the sound. You can play it again if you need more time to find the item.

Apple has said that these features were created specifically to discourage people from trying to track you without your knowledge. However, to prevent your own devices from stalking you or those that you may come into contact with, alert settings can be adjusted as follows:

Go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services, and turn Location Services on.

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Go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services > System Services. Turn Find My iPhone on.

Go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services > System Services. Turn Significant Locations on to be notified when you arrive at a significant location, such as your home.

Go to Settings > Bluetooth, and turn Bluetooth on.

Go to the Find My app, tap the Me tab, and turn Tracking Notifications on.

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