The Value of Auto GPS Trackers
On Dark Metal Fabrication’s (DMF) YouTube channel, you will find several videos relating to GPS trackers on vehicles. As DMF is related to physical security, and keeping your family safe, I wanted to explain why I believe installing a GPS tracking device helps keep your family safe. In situations where family members or loved ones are missing, cell phones are often used as a quick and easy way to locate the person we are looking for. With Apples “Find my iPhone” feature, and Androids Google backed “Find my Device” finding someone’s cell phone is a very easy task. And if the cell phone you are looking for doesn’t have these features installed, cell phones are built to make it very easy for Law Enforcement to locate them.
But what happens when the person you are trying to locate doesn’t have their cell phone on? What happens when their cell phone isn’t with them?
During our daily routines, my wife and I mostly know what our schedules are throughout the day. If a call or a text goes without response, I don’t immediately worry. I realize she may just be busy. Maybe she is taking care of our kids, maybe an errand took longer than expected, or maybe she is just talking to someone. Or maybe her cell phone battery is dead. While my wife has options for recharging a drained cell phone battery (such as her car) I can assume it’s probably just the kids playing sliver.io or Pokemon or some other game. Based on our daily schedules, 2 hours of not knowing where my wife is my threshold of starting to worry.
My wife and I both have our phones set up to quickly locate each other. Sometimes it’s simply easier than sending a “Hey, have you left work yet?” text. If it has been 2 hours with no response, but I can still locate her phone, I won’t necessarily worry. If it’s been 2 hours with no response, and her phone is in an un-locatable state—at that point, I’m going to start to get alarmed.
We all have that point where our spidey senses start to go off. My family’s is 2 hours. Yours maybe different based on various other factors. If you haven’t thought about a time frame, I would recommend taking the time to consider it. Talk to your family or your loved ones about it and if you have smart phones and haven’t enabled the location features—turn them on.
So at that point, what do we do? Some of us will call friends and family and last known locations. Some of us will drive to locations where we think our loved ones might be at. Our first thoughts are finding the person, and for a lot of us, the next thought will be to find their car. The person’s car will probably be a good indicator of where they may be located. Depending on the condition of the car, it may also tell us if fowl play is involved. There are many variables in these situations, but the more information we can gather may help us locate the missing loved one.
What if finding the car could be as simple as locating it on your phone? It can be. And there are lots of options for the capability. As smart phones have gotten smarter and cheaper, GPS devices for automobiles have also gotten smarter, smaller, and cheaper. Most vehicle GPS trackers now come with apps for your smartphones and will allow you to find a vehicle within seconds. The GPS trackers utilize cellular networks because in the simplest terms—a GPS Tracking device is essentially a cell phone that texts you its location when you ask it.
The difference between a permanently installed GPS tracker, versus a person carrying a smart phone, is the GPS tracking device never needs to be charged. You also don’t have to worry about your kids playing YouTube or Slither.IO on it. And if a stranger has taken your vehicle (with or without your loved one present) they should not be aware the vehicle is being tracked (assuming it is installed covertly). If the stranger separates your loved one from their cell phone, you still have a way to locate them if they are inside their vehicle. You also have a way to discover the vehicles location, which could lead you to more information about the whereabouts of the your missing loved one. Law Enforcement can also act faster if you are able to provide them the location of the vehicle.
So that is why I have been making videos about the various GPS tracking devices. My goal is to provide those of you unfamiliar with the technology, information that may help you if you decide to install a device on your vehicle.