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How to Track a Phone Number Safely and Legally

December 20, 2023 7:00 AM |

Establishing someone's location using software means can be done using 2 approaches, consensual and non-consensual, with their corresponding moral and legal implications. The ways to track a phone number described in this article allow for both approaches, and we explicitly discourage you from using these methods for personal gain or to blackmail, threaten, or otherwise violate others' right to privacy. Instead, we invite you to learn how number tracking can be used to protect yourself and those who matter most. Let's start by taking a look at the legal side of things.

Track Phone Number


What the Law Says About Phone Tracking

The laws of most EU countries and US states are still missing provisions that would directly regulate the use of tracking software. However, they're all pretty unambiguous when it comes to personal and sensitive data, as well as means of obtaining it.

In essence, you can track a cell phone number without any legal concerns on condition that a) you have the phone owner's consent and b) the device in question is your own. What this means is that tracking your kid's phone, for instance, is totally fine since you've probably bought the gadget, and thus it belongs to you. And, of course, the law is lenient in cases when such methods are used to backtrack a stalker, abuser, or blackmailer.


Free Phone Number Tracking with Native Google and Apple Software

It doesn't come as a surprise that global corporations have the resources to develop and maintain the most powerful tools to track a phone number, and their main benefit, of course, is that apps from Apple and Google are official and completely free. They almost sound like an ideal solution until you face the stringent security measures present in those apps. While some will just complicate the task, others may nip your efforts in the bud. Here's a brief look at the 3 possible options.


Find My for iOS

Some say Apple's software is too invasive and hungry for user data, and they may be right for that matter, but at least the company had the courtesy to give its users an equally powerful tool to track a phone number location for free. As long as you have access to your iCloud, those devices can be pinned down to a 3-meter radius. Some say other users can easily use that for their tracking purposes, but are they?

Technically, yes. The only problem is having the two coveted lines of symbols - the user's iCloud password and login. If you manage to get hold of those, the phone's location becomes just one of many monitoring options at hand. Beware of the two-step authentication, though - if the account is protected with this additional layer, you will need to obtain the verification code sent to their phone. Despite having this many caveats, the method is still worth a try as it is risk-free and costs nothing.


Additional Features

•  Real-time GPS location of all devices interlinked within one Apple ID account;

•  Tracking people from your Contact list who gave the permission to do so;

•  Detailed GPS location history;

•  Marking the device as lost;

•  Remote erase.


Find My Device for Android

Similarly to Find My, this app offers a range of monitoring options that become available once you launch the app within the Google account framework. Again, the challenge is in getting the credentials for the said account, which may not always be possible. If that's your case, the third way to track a phone location by number for free may be your best bet, but for now, let's see what else the app can do.


Additional Features

•  Locking protocol that prevents unauthorized access and displays a custom message on the device's screen;

•  Producing a sound signal to help during the search for the lost device;

•  Displaying the current state of the device's battery and network connections;

•  Displaying the device's tech details, including serials and IMEI;

•  Remote erase.


Google Maps Location Sharing

The location sharing feature embedded in the Google accounts ecosystem is the closest thing you can get to a fast and legal GPS tracking tool. This is how it works normally: the owner selects the option in the Google Maps menu and then selects one of their contacts who will receive the location data.

At any given moment, you can opt to cease the data transfer, and if you don't, the app will remind you about the ongoing sharing every so often with notifications on the main screen. Without a doubt, this is far more convenient than the previous two methods, but only if both parties are willing to partake.


Additional Features

•  GPS locations of every device connected to your Google account;

•  Recent locations log;

•  Real-time tracking.


Online Number Tracking Alternatives

Now, what if the target's phone number is the only piece of information at your disposal and none of the aforementioned manipulations are viable? Worry not - for a fair price, a handful of online services that will help you track that cell phone number - see the section below to find out how.


Technology Behind Online Tracking by Number

For those in a hurry, it's just 4 words: masked location sharing requests. If we get into details, this is what happens:

When setting up an account and purchasing a license to use services like or, you will be prompted to provide the target phone number. No installation is required.

Either app will then offer its way to send the owner an anonymous location sharing request. This can either be an SMS from an incognito number or a piece of media with an attached link.

Your goal is to come up with a compelling text or a clickbait-worthy picture to convince the recipient to interact with it.

Sit back and watch the magic happen - when they oblige, their current coordinates will appear on the app's integrated map, ready for use.


Additional Features

These can be found in most web-based tracking-by-number tools:

•  Logging Internet connections with visible IP addresses and their physical locations;

•  Tracking the active and recent WiFi connections;

•  VPN probe to establish whether the owner is faking their entry point.


Final Word

Of all the provably efficient ways to track a cell phone by number, online monitoring services have the least limitations and are as accurate as native iOS and Android apps.

Still, you must remember that the success of your endeavor depends on your ability to persuade the target. When sending an anonymous SMS with a disguised location sharing link, go for something familiar yet intriguing - like a flash sale of their favorite retailer.

Finally, when you do obtain someone's whereabouts secretly, remember you're treading on shaky legal grounds. Do not abuse the information you've received and look into the possibility of making the tracking consensual. This will not only prevent interpersonal conflicts but also keep you out of legal trouble.

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