Can AirTags Be Stolen? How to Protect Yourself From AirTag Theft

February 13, 2024

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AirTags are incredibly useful for tracking lost items, but what happens if your AirTag gets stolen? Can someone else reset and use your AirTag if it’s lost or stolen? Here’s a comprehensive guide on AirTag theft risks, prevention tips, and what to do if your AirTag is compromised.

How Secure Are AirTags Against Theft and Abuse?

AirTags have strong security measures in place to prevent unauthorized access if lost or stolen:

  • Activation Lock – AirTags can’t be reset without the original owner’s Apple ID and password.
  • Lost Mode – If marked lost in Find My, AirTags stay linked even if battery is removed.
  • Proximity Notifications – AirTags alert owners when separated from their iPhone for an extended period.
  • Privacy Protections – Apple has safeguards to prevent bypassing AirTag ownership protections.

While not impossible to hack, AirTags are very secure against casual theft and abuse.

For pet owners, the Whistle and Fi dog collars offer robust GPS tracking and activity monitoring that can rival AirTags for certain use cases.

Top Ways to Prevent Your AirTag Being Stolen

Prevent Your Airtag Being Stolen

Despite strong security, it’s smart to take precautions to avoid AirTag theft:

  • Don’t leave AirTags in publicly visible or accessible areas unattended.
  • Consider using a secure case, pouch or holder for your AirTag.
  • Enable Lost Mode immediately if your AirTag goes missing.
  • Don’t share AirTag account details or password with anyone.
  • Be careful linking AirTags to portable Apple devices that could get stolen.
  • Monitor proximity notifications in case an AirTag gets taken inadvertently.

GPS trackers like Pawtrack allow cat owners to monitor their pets without ongoing fees, much like AirTags for pets.

What to Do If You Believe Your AirTag Was Stolen

If your AirTag goes missing, act quickly:

  • Mark it as lost in Find My app to enable Lost Mode.
  • Contact Apple support about remote deactivation options.
  • File a police report about the lost AirTag. Provide serial number.
  • Change your Apple ID password if you suspect unauthorized access.
  • Remove the AirTag from your Apple account after deactivation.
  • Consider adding security measures like two-factor authentication.
Airtag Lost Mode
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For concealable tracking, Nutale and Esky key finders are viable AirTag alternatives that work over short distances.

FAQs About Stolen and Hacked AirTags

Can someone hack my AirTag?

It’s very difficult for someone to hack an AirTag to unlink it from your Apple ID, but sophisticated thieves could potentially find ways to exploit vulnerabilities.

What happens if someone resets my lost AirTag?

Even if reset, the AirTag will remain linked to your Apple ID and display as lost in Find My app due to security protections.

Can police track a stolen AirTag?

Police can work with Apple to request location data from a lost or stolen AirTag if a criminal investigation is underway.

How do I deactivate a stolen AirTag?

Contact Apple Support to report a lost AirTag. They can remotely deactivate it from your Apple account so it can no longer provide tracking data.

Does Apple notify you if your AirTag is moved?

The Find My app sends proximity notifications to the owner if an AirTag is detected moving away from you without you, which could indicate theft.

According to reviews of AirBolt smart locks, their integrated tracking makes them a secure AirTag alternative for travel and luggage security.

Key Takeaways on Protecting Your AirTags

  • AirTags have strong anti-theft measures, but aren’t hack-proof. Take precautions.
  • Enable Lost Mode and contact Apple ASAP if an AirTag goes missing.
  • Police and Apple can collaborate to track missing AirTags if stolen.
  • Remote deactivation can stop lost AirTags from providing location data.
  • Avoid AirTag theft by securing them in cases and not oversharing account details.

Of course, low-tech thieves may not realize an AirTag is tracking an item in the first place. Some people use fake AirTags as decoys to protect against crimes of opportunity while keeping their real AirTags well-hidden.