IMEI numbers are a source of mystery and paranoia in many Internet circles. These cryptic and fuzzy numbers around different parts of your phone are often used to identify phones, which makes some wonder if they can be used for surveillance and other embarrassing activities. We are here to demystify the IMEI numbers and tell you exactly what they are, how they work and how to find them.
The mobile identification number of the equipment (IMEI) of the international mobile station is a number used to identify a device that uses terrestrial cellular networks.
“And what is a mobile network on earth?”, I could ask. This is the network you use when making a call from your mobile phone or accessing your Internet service provider from your mobile service provider through your data plan. It is called “terrestrial” because it uses antennas on the side of the planet, and not satellites, to connect.
You may have already collected this, but it is useful to have a definitive answer to the question. Because the IMEI standard is used for each terrestrial cellular network device, this means that 3G / 4G tablets, laptops with PCMCIA wireless Internet cards and other mobile devices are also labeled with these numbers. If you have a dual SIM phone, you will see two IMEI numbers, one for each SIM card slot.
What is the purpose of an IMEI number?
The IMEI numbers have a main objective: to identify mobile devices. Its secondary objective, or intention, is to prevent theft. If a mobile device can be universally identified, a thief can not change the SIM card of a phone and wait to keep the phone. The IMEI numbers are encoded in the hardware of the device, so it is almost impossible to change them without damaging the device in any way.
When a carrier knows that a device has been stolen, it can blacklist the IMEI code and block it out of the network. Later, he tells other mobile networks to do the same.
Can the government use my IMEI number to follow me?
Short answer: yes
Long answer: it depends. If they can not associate a name or form of personal identification with their IMEI number, they do not know who their phone belongs to. This is often the problem with customers who pay in advance. Because they do not sign contracts with their wireless network providers, there is no way to add a face or ID card to the IMEI number. The process to do it is, at best, annoying.
If you have a contract with a mobile service provider, the government can use a search warrant to access your IMEI information to track numbers and locations. Therefore, even if you change your SIM card with a prepaid card, it can still be tracked. We will discuss this widely in another publication.
The government is not the only entity that you have to worry about. Hackers can track it using their IMEI number. However, none of these situations occur very often for the average citizen.
DO ALL mobile devices have IMEI numbers?
Because fake phones are not made in compliance with the regulations, they often miss IMEI numbers. In 2010, India had problems with these devices and tried to counteract the problem for years. The answer to the question is: “No, some devices do not have IMEI numbers, but they are often illegal.”
There are also rumors that government agencies around the world are using devices without IMEI to prevent them being followed by clandestine counter-espionage operations.
Is my IMEI number valid?
Some counterfeit phones have incorrect IMEI numbers. The easiest way to manually check the validity of an IMEI number is to use the Luhn formula to verify identification codes. If you want an easier way to verify your IMEI, there is always the online verifier in IMEI.Info.
How to verify your IMEI number?
Check the IMEI on the Android phone
The fastest way to check the IMEI number on your phone is to open your keyboard and type * # 06 #. Your IMEI number should appear immediately on your screen. Unfortunately, you can not copy and paste the song, so you must write it separately to keep it.
Alternatively, or if the latter method does not work for some reason, go to “Settings -> About the phone -> Status -> IMEI information”.
If you are a bit of a treasure, get ready to feel confident about keeping that box in your smartphone! The IMEI number of a new phone is usually written on the box, possibly on a sticker with the barcode.
A bit more complicated, but if none of the above methods work, you can find your IMEI number in the drawer of your SIM card, or if your phone has a removable cover, under the battery of the phone.
Run IMEI Look in your phone
So now that you have IMEI, do you want to do something with it, right? There are many sites where you can enter the IMEI number of your phone, such as imei.info, and in return you get a list of exact specifications and information about your device. Through another site, imeipro.info, you can use your IMEI number to check if your phone is included in the blacklist / reported as lost or stolen. It is always good to do it when you buy a second-hand phone.
IMEI is great!
If there is something that has helped us to stop thieves better, it is the IMEI standard. Although the number can still be used against you, it is worth the risk.