How can I prevent my parents from tracking my device? I have a Samsung Galaxy. I have heard that I can turn off my data, GPS locator, or the phone itself but I would like to be able to keep my phone with me and on at all times and have normal functionality. Is there a way I can route the tracker to a specific location when I want so that I could just tell them I am at that location even when I'm not? I'm 17 and I'm getting sick of getting a phone call every time I leave a friend's house. I am willing to root my device and install any kernel or ROM; whatever it takes.
if you believe that your parents are tracking you with your android.do this
1:backup your favorite apps.
2:factory reset the phone.
3:encrypt your phone.(this way nobody else can access your phone)
4:for extra protection you may add pin so that you can lock down parents from accesing your settings.
5:if you are going a step further you can lock down your phone in kiosk mode with the help of any custom launchers or anything like that.
but i think you should probably talk with your parents.
Dan already pointed out that this is more a social problem. Talk with your parents, express how you feel about this. The feeling of being constantly monitored is sure not very pleasant.
That said, the only way to make it hard for someone to monitor the location with the help of your Android phone is by ensuring that you have a clean initial setup and a locked down system in terms of screen lock and debugging disabled. This comes down to that if your phone was never compromised before and you prevent all unauthorized access to the phone, it's hard to install surveillance software. It has nothing to do with root access or a custom ROM. In fact, root may be counterproductive, since you want a tamper proof system.
If they use other means of tracking (e.g. GSM based ones), which is unlikely for individuals, then there is nothing to prevent that.
This is an excellent question, covering both technological and social usage of Android, so much so, that this answer is totally off the wall from me considering it is not an answer one would expect from me usually on this forum! :) So, apologies in advance for readers of this answer in thinking there's going to be a technical outline, or detailed answer, because it is not! :)
However your statement - I find a bit disturbing coming from a 17 year old
is there a way i can route the tracker to a specific location when i want so that i could just tell them i am at that location even when im not
That is not right? Mis-trust perhaps on both sides in whatever happened on prior occasion, cause and effect for to trigger that above statement.
im 17 and i'm getting sick of getting a phone call everytime i leave a friends house.
That above is a bit vague as you're not actually implying its your parents that are ringing you?
Perhaps, your parents do love you that much, and are worried that something may happen, but that is not to say, they are controlling you and your life. They are looking out for you. My guess, is you're an only child?
As @Flow and @Dan pointed out - you need to get a handle on this and talk upfront and honest to your parents about this.
Shoot me down, I'll take the hit of down-votes on this answer anyway
Some mobile carriers offer services to track children/family/friends which will trace phone location through cell towers and notify of changes. Here's an example of such service, so check if yours carrier offers these. You'll have to put your sim card into another phone and leave it at friend's place to fake your location. You can also setup call forwarding to your new sim if they decide to call and check.
To be sure you have no additional tracking software installed you may use these 3 methods.
Check logged Google accounts Settings -> Accounts: be sure to use ONLY YOUR ACCOUNT FOR ALL GOOGLE PRODUCTS/SERVICES (PLAY STORE, MAPS, ANDROID PHONE MANAGER - THIS ONE CAN TRACK DEVICE). To be 100% sure only you are the administrator of your phone, set up a new Google account for yourself.
In Settings -> Security -> Device Administrators check programs set as admins -> remove all if there are any. (If you find one PIN protected use Method 2 with hard/factory reset.)
Remove ALL additional apps that may be used for tracking Settings -> Apps -> Downloaded - select and remove all, one by one (some might be PIN protected, then go to Method 2).
In Settings -> Location Services disable the Access my location option and turn off GPS.
Disable Mobile data transfer.
Set up and enable PIN and Password (Settings -> Security), enable screen protection with PIN number.
Manually back up your data (music, pictures) copy it with file explorer/manager onto an SD card. SMS can be backed up with SMS Backup + App, sync contacts with Google Account. (for security reasons set yourself NEW fresh one and use it to backup restore your data.)
And NOW: Go to Settings -> Backup and Reset choose Factory Data Reset important - uncheck Automatic Restore checkbox. After hard reset choose your own NEW Google account for Google services (set up yourself a new one).
Next set up and enable and Password (Settings -> Security), enable screen protection with PIN.
Apps that can track your phone
1. Google Device Manager
2. Kaspersky Mobile Security (This one is tricky and hard to erase. I use this one with my phone.)
3.Avast Mobile Security / Avast Anti-Theft (This one sends an email notification or SMS when the phone leaves the designated area. It also may be hard to remove. You will need a hard reset to get rid of these two). Anti-Theft hides itself as update agent in apps.
4. Track My Phone
5. Phone Locator
...and many many more. Check them in Google Play (You may find one installed on your phone. If so, remove it.)
Method 3 (100% works)
Buy another cheap smart phone and a second SIM card. Install on this new phone, let's call it decoy, software they have installed on your old phone for tracking you (you will find it in Settings -> Apps on your Galaxy), log them in, put into that second phone your old SIM card, redirect all phone calls to you new number which you will use with your factory erased / clean Galaxy with new accounts logged in. Leave the second (decoy) phone in a place you are supposed to be.
If you can't find the app which they are using to track you down or don't have passwords to log them on a second phone, use the reverse process: Buy yourself another phone (almost any teenager can afford to buy a simple smart phone) with a new number (can be prepaid) and redirect all calls onto the new one from your old SIM card and use the old phone as a decoy.