Track Phone Using EXIF data

First of all, what is EXIF? EXIF stands for Exchangeable Image File Format. It is basically a standard set for digital images that covers the format for pictures, sounds and also other file images that is recorded by digital cameras. This digital cameras also covers the camera in your smartphones. So, how can you use it to track phone using EXIF data? The metadata tags in the EXIF standards such as JPEG, TIFF, RIFF WAV contains data such as the date and time information for the pictures or audio that was taken or recorded. It also contains the camera settings, copyright information as well as the thumbnail for the preview pictures. And the most important metadata tag for tracking your phone using EXIF data is the EXIF tag format for location information.

This is due to the fact that many smartphones have a built-in GPS receiver. The GPS data can be a time stamp into your digital photo and therefore the pictures taken will show the exact GPS coordinate of the pictures. This is called Geo-tagging process. There are several apps in the market that utilizes this EXIF data in the picture to know exactly where are the pictures you have shared are taken. So again, how all of this relates to using it to track your phone? Well, just imagine a scenario in which you just gotten your phone lost or stolen. Most smartphones nowadays comes together with cloud applications that stores your image to a cloud server in which you can access from anywhere in the world. iPhones for instance comes with the iCloud services in which any pictures or audio taken can be shared within all Apple’s platform devices. There are also application such as Dropbox where you can synchronized your pictures taken into your account and that can be accessed by you anywhere and any computers in the world. So, if you got your phone stolen, you can check the pictures or audio that have been uploaded automatically after the date that you have lost the phone. The pictures will contain the EXIF data in which you can extract from free photo viewer software such as Google’s Picasa or Windows Live Photo Gallery. This data also contains the geo-tagging data that will show you where the exact coordinates are the pictures was taken and you can use that data to track your phone. Even though the data is not that accurate but at least it can give you a lead on the whereabouts of your lost phone.

IMEI Blacklist Checker

First of all, what is an IMEI? And what is an IMEI Blacklist? An IMEI is basically the unique number that represents your phone. It has 14 to 15 numbers and you can quickly know your phone unique IMEI number by pressing *#06# on your phone keypad. An IMEI that is blacklisted is basically a phone that was reported lost or stolen. So if your phone IMEI number was blacklisted, this also means that your phone is blacklisted. A network operator who received the report by its previous owner would put the IMEI number of the phone to a blacklisted database. This IMEI is also called as bad IMEI. So if your phone have a bad IMEI, it is possible that the phone you are currently using might be stolen or was reported lost by its previous owner.

If the phone was reported stolen, the phone will be unusable in most carrier networks even if the SIM card is changed. So, how do you avoid this from happening? First of all, you can always avoid this by not buying stolen phones or not buying a phone from untrustworthy sources. This is because once you bought the phone from unauthorized source, it would be difficult to return your phone once you know that the phone has a bad IMEI. But, sometimes you could not avoid this and you might be duped by this people and thinking that your phone is a brand new one. The best way is to check the IMEI of the phone quickly and to determine whether it is good or not. Some network operator such as T-Mobile allows you to check the phone’s IMEI at their website. Just go their website and you can simply type the IMEI number of your phone to check whether it is blacklisted or not. There are also several websites that are offering to check the IMEI is blacklisted or not based on available database from the network carriers. So, make sure your phone does not have a blacklist IMEI before purchase. This would save yourself a lot of headache.