It might seem like a good idea to leave your phone at home before going to a protest, but this can actually have negative consequences. More and more protesters are using their phones to capture videos of inappropriate police behavior, share the message, and raise awareness. Unfortunately, the police can also use your phone to track you and get personal information which could aid in your arrest. Here’s everything you need to know about locking down your phone during a protest.
How Cops Can Track Your Phone
Cell phones can be a great tool for protests. You can use your phone to record the event, call for help, and document violence from protesters and police officers. Your phone can also be used by the police to track your movements, follow you, obtain personal information and even arrest you. Fortunately, there are measures you can take to protect your privacy and keep the police from tracking your phone.
Ways to Make Your Phone Cop-Proof
The first thing you should do to prepare your phone for a protest is disable your wi-fi, location services, and bluetooth. These are three of the most common tools the police can use to track your phone, so don’t enable them during the protest unless it’s absolutely necessary.
Next, log out of all your apps. Most social media apps allow you to automatically log in, which can be bad if you aren’t in control of your phone. You should also delete any apps you won’t need during the protest, since some apps can send and receive data even if they aren’t active.
Encrypt your communications if possible. Set your messages to expire after a certain time so they can’t be used against you.
Finally, avoid using biometrics like facial recognition software. Use a secure 6-digit code to lock your phone instead, or use the fingerprint scanner if you must use biometrics.
Consider Purchasing A Backup Phone
If you have the means, you should consider purchasing a backup phone to take with you to protests. An older model should be cheap and effective, and it won’t be as devastating if your backup phone is damaged or broken during the protest.
If you purchase a backup phone, keep the wi-fi, bluetooth and location services disabled. Don’t install any apps you won’t need, and don’t enable biometric software. Make your backup phone is as secure as possible so you don’t risk being tracked or having your information revealed to law enforcement.