The Apple AirTag: What is It, and Why is It so Dangerous?

Ruheni Mathenge  - Streaming Expert
Last updated: January 2, 2024

Apple AirTags is a new technology that poses unknown security risks to unsuspecting victims. This article explains what these gadgets are, how they work, the risks they pose and how to deal with them.

Additional practicality in technology often leads to extra security and privacy problems. For instance, it’s great to do your banking operations from your phone, avoiding the bank or the ATM. However, if you lose the phone, your financial assets could be compromised. Apple AirTags pose similar problems.

The Apple AirTags joined the Apple tech ecosystem in April 2021. It was the family’s latest product. It’s a disc measuring one and a quarter inches that you can attach to your car keys, your wallet, or any other object whose location you want to track using other Apple devices. While on the surface, the AirTag looks like a practical and helpful little toy to have and never search for your missing car keys again, there are deeper security concerns about it. For example, a third party can use this gadget to track your movements.

Imagine you had something of a wild night. You wake up the following day; you’re at a friend’s place. That’s fine. You remember that. You get up, put on your jacket, and get ready to leave. Then you feel something in your pocket. It’s not supposed to be there. You take it out, and you see an AirTag. It’s not yours. You’re not an Apple user. Your friend, an Apple fan, tells you that every AirTag he owns is accounted for. Since there is no other possible use for an AirTag than to track its location, you are suddenly not feeling very reassured. What should you do if something like this happens to you?

The first important thing to remember is: don’t panic. In this article, we will tell you everything you need to know about AirTags and how they work. Once you have that knowledge under your arm, you’ll understand the risks and how to deal with them.

What is an Apple AirTag?

AirTags are pocket-sized tracking devices that can interact with Apple devices. It’s about the size of a half-dollar coin. They’re light and easy to slip into almost anywhere without getting noticed. You can customize them with text or emojis so they don’t get mixed up.