Many users rely on GPS for tracking the people we wish to protect and monitoring the assets that keep our business going. But the more reliant we are on GPS, the stronger the urge of others to cause disruption to the system. Potential interference to the system could compromise the technology’s accuracy. Any attempt of jamming GPS signals can affect the performance of the monitoring device like Trackimo and could hamper its ability to gather especially crucial information.
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Why GPS Must Work
GPS trackers have become an indispensable tool for some businesses. In some cases, the absence of the device can cause disturbances in the normal planned operation, and some employees cannot carry out their task without it. To further shed light on this topic, these are the instances when GPS devices must function perfectly:
- Completing law enforcement tasks. This includes rescue missions, monitoring sex offenders, or monitoring prisoners on parole. To elaborate the last item, police authorities use the tracking system to track prisoners’ movements without leaving their posts. They can monitor the parolees on their computers through GPS software that provides alerts the second the prisoner enters an area he’s not supposed to go.
- Protecting fleet from theft. The device helps fleet managers protect their vehicles, and in the event that their asset is stolen, quick recovery is assured, giving the company a chance to receive lower insurance premiums.
- Real-time monitoring. This allows fleet managers to keep track of their assets and prevent unauthorized usage of their vehicles.
- Observing spouse’s movements. Yes, some now use tracking system to check their partner’s whereabouts and know if they are cheating on them.
Considering the purposes GPS trackers serve, it is safe to say that there are as much as people want to have these devices installed, there are also those who are eager to find a way to deactivate these devices. Luckily for them, jamming GPS signals is possible.
Jamming GPS Signals: What You Need to Know
So when can you use a jamming or blocking device? What other tools can you use to cut off the GPS signal and stop it from functioning?
There are many ways to confound or interrupt the tracking device depending on the type of tracker used, whether it’s passive or active GPS tracking device.
The direct way to avoid being tracked is to destroy the GPS device and make sure that it no longer functions. But if the purpose is to just tamper it secretly without the knowledge of the installer, then it’s easy to block or weaken the transmission of the tracking device.
1. Keeping the GPS device in a metal container
It does not have to be the huge metal shield your favorite comic book character uses. Any metal that is electrically conductive can reflect and absorb the carrier waves and interfere with the transmission. Good examples of electrically conductive metal include copper and silver. To successfully cause disruption, all you need to do is place the device in a container made of any of the aforementioned metals.
2. Using GPS jamming gadgets
Surprisingly enough, jamming GPS signals, while illegal, is easy and cheap. Proof is the existence of GPS jamming gadgets that are usually sold online. These anti-tracking devices just have to be plugged into an adapter and can now effectively interfere with GPS signals within a certain range.
3. Purchasing mobile phone jammers
Our cell phones use GPS signals too, which are transmitted from tower to tower. If one wishes to disable frequencies and disrupt communication, cell phone jammers are the purchase to make. Using these mobile jammers will prevent the exchange of real-time location information, which is what most GPS users rely on when monitoring subjects. Cell phone jammers are sold online too, although they cost a lot with some priced at almost a thousand bucks.
4. Using GPS spoofing gadgets
Last on the list happens to be the one that poses the most risk. GPS spoofing devices basically send off fake GPS signals, which the GPS-based tracking device will take for the real thing.
Assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at Virginia Tech Brent Ledvina explains how GPS spoofing works, “It’s almost like someone nearby is spoofing your favorite radio station by transmitting at the same frequency but higher power, fooling your receiver into believing it is getting the right station.”
Spoofing devices are considered harmful especially for commercial users. Surprisingly enough, doing it is very easy, but detecting these GPS spoofing devices has always been a challenge. To this day, experts are still looking for ways to counter this method.
Although jamming GPS signals takes a lot of courage and strong will to do, it still happens; that’s why it’s necessary for all users to know the different ways this is done. It will help you formulate a solution if you encounter this kind of problem in the future.