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Wrapping Your Phone in Aluminum Foil to Make It Untraceable Is Absurd. You Can Do the Same Thing With a Button

If you want the phone to be untraceable, there are easier solutions.

Wrapping the phone in aluminum foil is absurd: There's a button that does the same thing
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In 2024, surprise on the Internet may seem complicated, but it’s not. A new trend is catching on among security and privacy enthusiasts: wrapping your phone in aluminum foil. The goal? To create a Faraday-like cage to prevent anyone from tracking their devices.

Although it’s a myth, this silly practice is worth debunking more than once. Why is it silly? Because there’s a button on every phone that serves the same purpose.

With the rise of this practice, it's clear that the meme of the silver foil beanie has gone too far. 

Theoretically, this should work: A thick enough layer of aluminum should block any electromagnetic waves from the phone, such as those from Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.

In fact, if you wrap the phone in a lot of aluminum foil, it becomes untraceable. It can’t receive calls or connect to cellular networks and Wi-Fi. Bluetooth also stops working. But even if the science wins out, the practice makes little sense because of something even more straightforward: airplane mode.

A phone covered with aluminum foil

Press the airplane mode button on Android to turn off your phone’s connections. If you’re unsure over whether your phone is completely disconnected, look for the specific Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or cellular data setting to turn them off completely.

A slightly more radical option, but much less so than wrapping the phone in aluminum foil, is to turn off the phone. It’s true that some phones, such as the iPhone, conserve a small amount of power even when turned off so that the manufacturer's search network can locate them. But again, if we want to keep this type of network finding our phone, it’s enough not to permit them to do so.

Image | Xataka On

Related | How to ‘Dumb Down’ Your Phone: These Apps Want You to Be Less Glued to Its Small Screen

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