What’s worse than losing your phone? Probably many things but losing a phone is considered a nightmare by many of us.
Since this small device has a world the size of your palm why wouldn’t people grieve its loss?
If you have recently lost your phone or it has been stolen, you may have thought about tracking it.
In the case of Android phones, different apps track stolen or lost gadgets. Some of you might have heard about monitoring your device’s IMEI using Google Earth but the sad news is that Google Earth can’t be used to trace your device’s IMEI number.
Continue reading this blog to find other ways to track your device via Google Maps
What Is An IMEI Number?
IMEI number stands for International mobile equipment identity. It is a unique number given by the manufacturer to each device.
It serves as a particular identification for a device on a mobile network. When a device is lost or stolen, the carrier or law enforcement agencies use this special code to track it.
|Definition||The International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) is a unique code assigned to every mobile device.|
|Purpose||The IMEI helps identify a mobile device on a cellular network, allowing carriers to prevent phone cloning and unauthorized usage.|
|Format||The IMEI is a 15-digit code, consisting of a 14-digit unique identifier and a 1-digit check digit.|
|Location||The IMEI is typically located on the back of the device or in the phone settings.|
|Usage||The IMEI can be used to block a stolen phone from accessing cellular networks and is required when registering a device for service.|
How Does Google Maps Help in Tracking Devices?
Google Maps can help in tracking devices in several ways, including:
Google Maps allows users to share their real-time location with friends and family.
This feature can be used to track the location of a device as long as the user has enabled location services on their device and has given permission to share their location with the person who wants to track them.
Google Maps also has a timeline function that keeps track of the places you visit and the routes you take based on your location history.
At any time, you can update your timeline and delete your location history. Since it is private, only you have access to it. If the device owner activates this function, it can be used to track their movements over time.
It can help you trace your smartphone if the option is enabled. When the device owner checks in to their Google account via a web browser, they can view the last known location of their device on their timeline.
Users can also see the gadget’s route before disconnecting or losing network connectivity. If your phone is still connected to the internet, the user can use Google’s “Find My Device” tool to remotely ring the device, lock it, or delete its contents to prevent unauthorized third parties from using it.
Sadly this feature is not always accurate, especially if the lost device is indoors or has poor network connectivity.
Also, if the device has been turned off or the battery has run out, this feature will not be able to monitor it.
Find My Device
Another feature apart from Google Maps called “Find My Device” allows users to locate their lost or stolen Android gadgets.
This feature uses GPS to track the device’s location and displays it on a map in real-time.
This feature is enabled by default if you’ve connected a Google Account to your device.
The initial account activated on your device will have access to your device’s most recent location if you permit “Locate My Device” to encrypt it and store it with Google.
Google Maps also allows users to create virtual boundaries called geofences around a specific area.
If a device enters or leaves this area, the owner can receive a notification.
Communication channels like GPS, RFID, Wi-Fi, or cellular data are needed for geofencing.
When a mobile device or RFID tag enters or quits a geofenced area after it has been set up, an automatic preprogrammed response is launched.
A virtual boundary can be drawn around a physical site, which can be as tiny as a house, shop, or mall or as big as a ZIP code, city, or an entire state.
Overall, Google Maps can be a powerful tool for tracking devices as long as the device owner has enabled location services and given permission to share their location.
It’s important to note that this tracking should only be done with the device owner’s consent and for legitimate purposes.
Everyone appears to have the misconception that GPS can only be used to pinpoint a device’s location; GPS can’t be used to locate something for other people. You still don’t know the device’s location if it chooses not to share that information.
Why Can’t Google Trace the IMEI Number of Lost Gadgets?
The IMEI, a distinctive code on your phone, aids in network identification. However, since malicious individuals could intercept it and use it to duplicate your phone’s identity, this code is not immediately broadcast over the air.
Instead, the IMEI is encrypted and given a temporary ID that can be used by other devices, much like a quick name.
It’s similar to when you go by a different name at a coffee shop instead of using your name. This keeps your phone safe and deters illicit conduct.
Mobile devices only share their encrypted IMEI with the cell tower, while internet-based services such as Google use the IP address instead of IMEI.
The IP address is dynamically allocated with each connection on cellular networks and most other consumer internet services.
It’s not feasible to locate a device using its IMEI number through Google Earth or any other location tracking service, as it can’t be used for this purpose.
- Google Earth can’t be used to trace your device’s IMEI number. IMEI number is used to track your mobile device by the carrier or law enforcement authorities if it is lost or stolen.
- It’s also advised to report the loss or theft of your cellphone to your mobile provider. They might be able to assist you in finding it using the IMEI number and taking the necessary steps to get it back.
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