You might not realize that GPS tracking devices are vulnerable to tampering and cyberattacks, just like computers and smartphones. Despite the Global Positioning System being an incredibly complicated technology, once used by the U.S. military to identify and destroy Soviet submarines during the Cold War, trackers have simple electronics that hackers can exploit. That means cybercriminals can access sensitive data, like the locations you visit, so you’ll need to up your cybersecurity when using these life-changing gadgets. Find out how below!
How Do GPS Devices Work?
Before learning how hackers can infiltrate your data on a GPS device, you should know how this technology operates. The Global Positioning System is a complex network of satellites that orbit Earth, allowing users to determine their positions anywhere on the planet. GPS trackers receive signals from these satellites and send location data to your computer, smartphone, or tablet. That lets you find out where you are, discover the best routes to a chosen destination, track valuables, monitor employees, and other use cases vital to society.
How precisely you can determine your or another person’s location depends on the type of GPS device you have. LandAirSea (LAS), which has manufactured surveillance technology since the 1990s, has products that pinpoint your whereabouts within six inches, making them more exact than GPS-enabled smartphones.
How Do Hackers Access Your GPS Data?
The more you use your GPS device, the more likely someone will exploit it. According to Scientific American, a hacker can jam a signal from a satellite by “drowning it out with meaningless noise” or spoof a signal received by a GPS device by feeding it incorrect coordinates. That will confuse your tracker’s receiver and make your device vulnerable to a cybersecurity attack.
You might think that a cybercriminal knowing your location is no big deal. After all, it’s not like someone nefarious has access to your bank account or Social Security number. The truth is that location information is extremely valuable to hackers.
If a cybercriminal knows where you live, they might plan a robbery at your house, especially if they know you have a high income. Hackers can piece together information like salary details, bank account balances, and the assets you own, building a profile of your entire life. It’s difficult to get rid of this information because no government controls the internet, making the dark web a kind of Wild West. While rare, it can certainly happen. Criminals will stop at no lengths to steal what’s not theirs.
Another cybersecurity risk associated with your location information is phishing, also known as social engineering. It’s a type of cybersecurity event that happens over time, with hackers sending you emails that appear to be from a legitimate source, such as a local business determined by knowing your location. A cybercriminal might pretend to be an employee from your bank, claim someone has accessed your account, and ask for your Social Security number or other personal details to “confirm” your identity before “resolving” the issue. Many people fall from this scam, and it’s becoming increasingly common.
So How Can You Avoid GPS Cybercrime From Happening?
Luckily, you can prevent a cybersecurity event from ruining your life. Some GPS device manufacturers encrypt GPS signals using clever technologies, meaning nobody–except you–can see your location and where you travel. You might also be able to customize the privacy settings of your GPS tracker in an app, giving you more control over your data, who can see it, and why.
Some manufacturers go even further. They utilize anti-jamming and anti-spoofing technology to prevent cyberattacks. Like call spoofing, hackers use technologies that change the location generated by GPS signals and receivers. By messing around with GPS coordinates, a cybercriminal can confuse your device and cause it to malfunction. When this happens, it’s easier for them to access your location information, which is like gold to identify thieves and other criminals. Anti-jamming and anti-spoofing help prevent this from happening.
It’s not just a manufacturer’s responsibility to protect your location data, however. You should take proactive steps to safeguard your personal information and prevent the stealing and exposure of your private details.
Regularly updating your GPS device with the latest security patches, if your manufacturer lets you do this, is a great way to stop cybercriminals from swiping your data. How you do this depends on your device but might involve connecting your tracker to your computer with a USB cable and downloading security software. That can take as little as a couple of minutes, and you’ll probably only need to update your device every few months or so.
How LAS Can Help With GPS Cybersecurity
In an era of cybercrime, LAS takes security seriously. It protects all your personal data, including the information you enter on its website, such as your credit card details when subscribing to one of its services. In fact, it uses procedural and technical safeguards that safeguard your data against theft or loss, in addition to preventing unauthorized disclosure and access. LAS accomplishes this via firewalls, encryption, and Secure Socket Layers.
LAS believes your data is an asset. While “perfect” security does not currently exist anywhere on the internet, the company will always use the latest security strategies to protect your data and ensure hackers don’t get their hands on it. That’s important in a world where cybersecurity is on the rise. It’s no wonder, then, that industries such as law enforcement, local government, and even the military use LAS devices for asset protection, employee monitoring, and more.
So what are you waiting for? If you want a GPS device that generates accurate location information and protects your personal information, give LAS products a try. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about GPS cybersecurity and how LAS can help!