To understand the possibility of location tracking, it’s important to know how text messaging works. Text messages can be sent using two primary methods: SMS/MMS and messaging apps like iMessage or WhatsApp.
SMS and MMS
SMS (Short Message Service) and MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service) are standard text messaging protocols used by mobile networks. They rely on a cellular connection to transmit messages between devices.
iMessage and WhatsApp
iMessage and WhatsApp are popular messaging apps that utilize an internet connection to send messages. They often include additional features such as encryption and multimedia support.
So…CAN someone track you through a text?
For standard SMS and MMS messages, the sender’s location data isn’t embedded in the message itself. However, someone with access to the mobile network infrastructure might be able to obtain location data based on the cell tower your phone is connected to when sending the message.
iMessage and WhatsApp Tracking
Unlike SMS and MMS, iMessage and WhatsApp messages are encrypted, making it more challenging for someone to intercept and track your location. However, if you’re using location sharing features within these apps, your location could be accessible.
Location Sharing Features
Many messaging apps include location sharing features that can be both intentional and unintentional.
Intentional Location Sharing
Users can choose to share their location with others, either temporarily or indefinitely, by using built-in features on messaging apps or sending a map image.
Unintentional Location Sharing
Unintentional location sharing can occur when you send a photo or video containing location data embedded in the file’s metadata.