If you are worried about what your child might be up to after school or have misplaced your mobile phone, you can employ GPS technology to not only track it, but also locate it with pinpoint accuracy. The methods may vary, depending on whether you are tracking down someone else’s phone or yours, but if you want to locate your errant child or that lost phone, here is how to go about it as follows:

Tracking a lost iPhone- Steps

  • For iPhone users who have an Apple ID, tracking a lost phone can be done through an iPad or any web browser. Location tracking may need to be turned on, although it is often turned on by default for all devices with an Apple ID (You will need to enter your Apple password and ID in order to log into the iCloud site).
  • Next, open the ‘find my iPhone’ tab found on the main page of the iCloud site. Alternatively, you could also download the Find My iPhone app on a friend’s iPhone or iPad.
  • At the top of the ‘find my iPhone’ page, click on the ‘All Devices’ link to select the device you wish to track. The map should center on the device’s last known location. However, if your phone is turned off or out of battery, it should still show the last place it was logged in.
  • Once you are done with this, click on the dot representing your phone on the map and then click the ‘i’ button that appears. A window should pop on the right corner of the map with a few options that you can take with your lost cell. These may include playing a sound (your iPhone should emit a sound to help you track it if it is nearby); Lost mode (this should lock your iPhone whilst displaying a number where you can be reached); or Erase iPhone (if your device has been lost for good, you can choose to remotely delete all its data to prevent sensitive information from falling on the wrong hands).

Tracking a lost Android phone- Steps

  • Begin by opening the Android Device Manager (a tool that allows you to track your stolen or lost Android device. You can also download the app on to another Android device or access it through a web browser.
  • Next, log in to your Google account on opening the app. This should be the same account that is linked with your lost phone.
  • Once you are logged in, Android Device Manager will attempt to locate your cell phone, with its last known location being shown at the center of the map.
  • You can then choose several actions to perform with your lost device. These could be ring (to make your cell ring thus making it easier to locate it if it is nearby); Lock (putting a new lock code on your phone to prevent access by others); or Erase (wiping all data from your device in case it is stolen or completely lost).

Tracking someone else’s phone

Tracking someone else’s phone involves the installation of a third-party app on the device that you want to track. There are numerous third-party programs that should allow you to track phones that have the program installed. Each mobile phone you wish to track should have such an application installed on it. Popular tracking apps include GPS Tracker (iOS) and GPS Tracking Pro (Android).

If you wish to track family phones, check with your service provider. If you have a family plan with your mobile service provider, you may be able to enable tracking for the mobile devices that are on that plan. This is especially useful if your children have cell phones on your plan and you wish to keep tabs on them. Remember, if you are paying for tracking services, all parties involved i.e. mobile user (employee, child, spouse) and tracker (employer, parent, spouse) vow not to tamper with or disable the device and agree to keep it activated.