Sports Illustrated Swimsuit model Brooks Nader is speaking out about how women should be vigilant after discovering her location was being tracked by a stranger using an Apple AirTag.
The 26-year-old model took to her Instagram stories on Thursday to share the "scariest moment ever," which had taken place the night before. She explained to her over 800,000 followers that she had been sitting at a bar in New York City's Tribeca neighborhood where she was waiting alone for a friend. Her coat was on a chair behind her and the restaurant was "crowded." Still, she hadn't noticed anything suspicious until the end of her evening when she was "stupidly" walking home alone after meeting friends at two other bars.
"Once I was already on my walk home, halfway home, I got the notification that was like 'someone's tracking you and has been for a while,'" she said, sharing that it was around 11:30 p.m. "So I freaked out obviously, and then of course my phone died."
Nader went on to explain that it was around midnight by the time she had gotten home and was able to check her belongings for the device — marketed to allow users to keep track of important belongings such as keys, a wallet, purse or luggage — that she had been notified about.
"It turns out it was an AirTag, which is a tiny little white circular thing that Apple makes. And it's used for horrible, horrible things after I researched it. People have been using it in people's cars to stalk them, human trafficking, all kinds of stuff," she said. "I had no idea that these existed until it happened to me, so I'm kind of just trying to raise awareness and tell all my ladies out there to watch your belongings, look out for the notification."
Nader declined to comment further to Yahoo Life.
An Apple spokesperson told Yahoo Life that a notification like the one that Nader received is actually a proactive feature to discourage unwanted tracking.
"We take customer safety very seriously and are committed to AirTag's privacy and security. AirTag is designed with a set of proactive features to discourage unwanted tracking — a first in the industry — that both inform users if an unknown AirTag might be with them, and deter bad actors from using an AirTag for nefarious purposes," a representative explained. "If users ever feel their safety is at risk, they are encouraged to contact local law enforcement who can work with Apple to provide any available information about the unknown AirTag."
The company has a support page available to users that informs individuals what to do if they are alerted of an AirTag nearby that doesn't belong to them. The alert that they would receive is a part of Apple's Find My network, which keeps track of available accessories through a person's phone. There are programmed alerts that are meant to go off once an AirTag is separated from its owner for a period of time. It may even play a sound to allow an individual to locate the AirTag among belongings.
AirTags are associated with an AppleID and the corresponding account information may be shared with law enforcement. An individual who identifies an AirTag that doesn't belong to them can also follow the instructions listed on Apple's support page to disable it and stop sharing its location.
It is unclear if Nader reported the AirTag to law enforcement.
"The only silver lining is that I actually got notified that someone was tracking me. I don’t think that that happens with Tile or any of those other devices," Nader said on social media. "So just check your belongings, check your surroundings. It was the scariest, scariest moment ever and I just want everybody to be aware that this exists."
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