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Can I Still Be Tracked with a Flip Phone?

If you’re concerned about your privacy and are considering flip phones for greater personal security, you’re not alone. 

In the wake of shocking security breaches, French President Emmanuel Macron changed his phone number and overhauled his entire security protocol. His phone, and the phones of 14 of his ministers, were under surveillance by Morocco.

Pegasus, a powerful Israeli-made surveillance software, was at the heart of this unprecedented turn of events.

The spyware can infiltrateAndroid,iOS, Symbian, andBlackBerry devices, effectively turning them into surveillance devices.


GoDark Faraday Bags for phones


So who uses Pegasus? Who are the targeted victims? The answer is where it gets worse.

NSO Group, the company behind Pegasus, claims to only sell to governments. They insist that Pegasus is for tracking terrorists and criminals.

In actuality, activists, politicians, and journalists make up Pegasus’s growing list of victims. For instance, the recent murder of a Saudi journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, in Turkey was being surveilled at the time of his death. 

Never before has privacy been so important. That’s why plenty of cell phone carriers are switching to flip phones to reduce the risk of getting their personal information exploited. But this begs the question:can a flip phone be tracked?

Unfortunately, flip phones aren’t immune to electronic surveillance either; there are better ways to protect yourself.


GoDark Faraday Bag for Tablet


We’ll be looking at various cell phone tracking methods and how to prevent them from acquiring your information.

“Every system can be hacked.” 

— Benjamin Netanyahu (former Prime Minister of Israel)


Table of Contents

Rogue Cell-Site Simulators

Can I Stop Cell-Site Simulators?

GoDark Faraday Bags

What if I Just Turn My Phone Off?

More WaysFlip Phones Can Be Tracked

Autonomous Zero-Click Attacks

Hands-Free BlueBorne Attacks.

Thinking of Going Dark?

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Can’t I Just Turn off Location Services?

Does Airplane Mode Protect My Privacy?

Who Did Your Third-Party Testing?


Rogue Cell-Site Simulators

Cell-site simulators, also called Stingrays, were initially developed for military use. Now they’re in the hands of ill-intentioned people, and it’s terrifying.

The information in your SIM card, like your text messages, most frequently dialed numbers, phone calls, location data (your approximate location), and voice calls as well as your internet browsing history, are all vulnerable to cell-site simulators.

And so is your privacy.

These devices exploit a vital feature of every cell phone: they will always connect to the nearest cell tower. The closer the cell phone towers, the stronger the signal reception.

Even the simplest flip phones—without advanced GPS tracking or smart phone features—will always be looking to connect to the nearest tower.

When used, your cell phone perceives a cell-site simulator as the nearest cell tower and connects. Once connected, your personal information becomes accessible without your consent or knowledge.

Sophisticated cell-site simulators can even listen in on your conversations and plant malware. They compel phones to use older unencrypted 2G networks, which makes hacking your phone and SIM card possible.

What’s more, cell-site simulators don’t just infiltrate one phone; they will invade all nearby cell phones. If used near you, the information on your phone and the phones around you becomes vulnerable to Stingray attacks.

Whether you’re a journalist, corporate board member, or law enforcement agent, the ramifications of infiltration are of nightmarish proportions. You could be facing the following:

  • Compromised witnesses or informants
  • Stolen plans, trade secrets, or identities
  • Possibility of blackmail or extortion
  • Failed missions

In a nutshell, a cell-site simulator in the wrong hands is a valid reason to stay up at night. The following video elaborates further on how Stingrays work. 


A video documentary on how cell-site simulators work.


Can I Stop Cell-Site Simulators?

Yes, you can.

All thanks to the findings of an English physicist, Michael Faraday.

In his experiments with electricity, Faraday lined a room with tin foil and placed an electroscope at the center.

Using an electrostatic generator, he bombarded the tin foil with static electricity.

After the experiment, the electroscope confirmed Faraday’s suspicion: the room had no electrical charge.

As the electrons moved along the surface of the tin foil, they created an electrically neutral area inside the room.

This phenomenon is called electrostatic shielding, and it’s how cars and airplanes protect you from lightning. It’s also why there’s usually no phone signal or internet access in an elevator.

The following video demonstrates how electrostatic shielding works. The experiment features a mesh of conductive material (a Faraday cage), an electrostatic generator, and an improvised electroscope.

A video demonstration of electrostatic shielding.

Cell-site simulators work by intercepting communication between your cell phone and the nearest cell tower.

So for cell phone carriers, the most effective way to prevent this attack is to disable this communication when it’s not needed. This method involves electrostatic shielding, and there are products you can use to accomplish this, including Faraday bags.

A Faraday bag prevents radio or electromagnetic waves from penetrating its conductive material. When your phone is inside a Faraday bag, cell-site simulators can’t transmit or receive signals from the phone. As such, they can’t track you.


What Are GoDark Faraday Bags?

An image of two phone-sized GoDark Bags.

GoDark Bags block all incoming and outgoing EMF signals. They safeguard your tablets, cell phones, and other electronic devices against hacking, location tracking, and EMF radiation damage.

They’re small, portable, effective, and built to last.

The outer layer of a Faraday bag consists of a lining of conductive material. When an external electrical field hits the bag, the conductive material distributes the charge around it, protecting its contents.

Testimonial from an Anonymous customer


What if I Just Turn My Phone Off?

Turning off your phone will indeed prevent a surveillance or tracking device from monitoring your phone to some degree. However, the practicality and effectiveness of this method make it unreliable in some cases.

The first problem is how long your cell phone will take to boot up.

For a journalist, those few seconds could be the difference between capturing a one-off moment and missing it. In an emergency, the boot-up time could impact how soon help arrives.

Having your phone in a secure bag and out when you need it is much easier and faster.

The second problem is, are you sure your cell phone is off?

Your cell phone’s radio transmitter and receiver run on the Baseband subsystem—a separate system from your phone’s primary operating system. Turning your phone off may not affect the Baseband subsystem.

Modern drones can track you through your cell phone this way, even when it’s off. 


More Ways Flip Phones Can Be Tracked

Traditional flip phones are focused on phone calls and can go for days without needing to charge. What’s more, modern flip phones come fully equipped with extra features like:

  • Bluetooth
  • WhatsApp
  • WiFi
  • YouTube
  • GPS

Today’s flip phones resemble smartphones and therefore share similar vulnerabilities. Below are a few to be aware of:


Autonomous Zero-Click Attacks

Zero clicks don’t need much from you. You probably won’t even realize your smart or flip phones are compromised.

One particular attack simply requires a WhatsApp call. Whether or not you answer the call, your phone is compromised.

An attacker installs malware on your phone with the WhatsApp call and then deletes the call’s entry on your call log. 

It’s no longer enough to avoid those phishing emails or texts.

The good news is that keeping your phone up to date is one step in the right direction. Phone manufacturers and software developers are constantly releasing fixes for possible vulnerabilities.

You can also incorporate Faraday bags into your defense strategy.


A phone-sized GoDark bag

GoDark Bags come in various sizes to accommodate phones, tablets, etc.

GoDark Bags provides signal blocking for:

  • EMF frequencies between 600 MHz–6 GHz
  • Cellular Signals: CDMA, GSM, DCS, 3G, 4G, 5G, LTE
  • Wifi (2.4–5 GHz)
  • Bluetooth (2.4 GHz)
  • GPS (1–2 GHz)


Hands-Free BlueBorne Attacks

Bluetooth connections are usually encrypted and considered safe. However, one of the biggest challenges facing them is the BlueBorne attack.

These attacks don’t need Bluetooth pairing or your device to be discoverable. As long as your Bluetooth device is active and near proximity, a hacker can take control, install malware, and spread it to any other nearby device. Meanwhile, the owners or users of these devices are entirely unaware of the attack.

So what are the implications?

Consider a delivery worker visiting your office with an infected phone. As he makes his rounds in the office, any active Bluetooth device within his proximity becomes infected. This includes your flip phones, smart phones, office computers, tablets, staff equipment, etc.—any device with Bluetooth. 

So if any device’s Bluetooth is on and is within proximity of a BlueBorne-infected device, it is also vulnerable to attack. As a result, your approximate location and personal information become accessible.


Thinking of Going Dark?

“Didn’t expect the material to be so solid, you can expect this bag to last forever. Excellent design with a rather cool look, love it”
—Mike F.


Perhaps you’re looking for privacy, or you just want to protect your electronics from external static and electromagnetic damage. GoDark Bags have you covered.

Our bags undergo third-party testing to ensure proper signal blocking, and we design them to work well long after purchase.

Visit us today and learn more about how we can help you stay safe.


Frequently Asked Questions

Why Can’t I Just Turn off Location Services? 

Regardless of your location services settings, your cell phone always connects to nearby cell towers. With this connection, your carrier can determine your approximate location and movements from the location of the towers your phone has connected to.

The best way to prevent this possibility is to block this connection.


Does Airplane Mode Protect My Privacy? 

No, it does not. Airplane mode only prevents your phone from transmitting cell signals, not receiving them. As such, your smart or flip phones still record your location and will share this information once this mode is off.

GoDark Bags prevent both incoming and outgoing cell signals. Without this communication, your phone is unable to record your location and transmit it later.


Who Did Your Third-Party Testing? 

Element, a leader in electronics and material testing, tests all GoDark Bags. They test our bags and produce an engineering report indicating the effectiveness of their signal blocking over a range of frequencies.


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