From the paranoid, the conspiratorial, to the woman who is afraid of being tracked, to the employee who does not want to be tracked by their boss, the use of devices called GPS jammers is on the rise. They are easy to acquire online. You can even find them on sites like eBay. Many people who use them probably assume they are legal and don't bother to investigate the laws surrounding them. But as an employer, how do you combat employees who use GPS jammer and how do you detect them?
What is a GPS Jammer?
So what exactly is a GPS jammer and how do they work. A GPS jammer is a device that uses radio frequencies to transmit a signal that blocks, jams, or interferes with GPS systems. These devices disrupt all aspects of GPS, including navigation and tracking.?
The devices are generally small and most of them are simple to install. A user simply needs to plug them into the cigarette lighter or car charger port (do cars still have a lighter port?), and make sure the device is close to the GPS tracker so that it may interfere with the signal. Powering up takes less than half a minute, which makes them attractive to criminals and employees alike, as you can simply plug them in when needed and remove them the rest of the time.
How do you know that an employee is using a GPS jammer?
The good news is that if you have one or more employees trying to use a GPS jammer to disrupt your fleet tracking system, you will know about it. While your drivers may think illegal jammers make them invisible, they draw more attention to their behavior.?
If an employee uses a GPS jammer to interrupt the GPS signal, it will appear on the live track map or trip history map as an interrupted or missing trip. Also, if they plug in their jammer for only part of the trip, you'll see a line from when the jamming started to when the device was turned off. Some newer GPS tracking devices even have GPS jamming detection. Additionally, you can also create an exception rule that scans for GPS signal faults and triggers an alert or email when GPS interference occurs.
Once you detect that an employee has disrupted GPS tracking, you can confront them. You also have a record of GPS jamming for disciplinary action such as dismissal of offending employees for cause.?
Final Thoughts on GPS Jammers and Employees
Although GPS jammers are illegal, the devices are inexpensive and easy to obtain, especially online. The FCC relies heavily on the public to report the devices, but many people don't know they're illegal. Studies are inconclusive on how many drivers use GPS jammers in an attempt to hide their location from employers. However, their use appears to be on the increase.?
While most users of GPS jammers probably don't use them to hide illegal activity, why the devices are illegal to buy, sell, or use depends on public safety. GPS jammers interfere with communications systems, navigation systems, and tracking systems, including emergency services and aviation.?
Interestingly, the workers who use them think they can trick their bosses. Instead, employers can easily monitor when and if an employee is using GPS jamming and keep track of any incidents. If you are concerned that your drivers will be tempted to use the devices, it is important that you monitor your reports and confront the employees you catch.?
You may also consider educating your drivers that GPS jammers do not help them hide from GPS tracking and that the devices could result in not only job termination but also fines and jail time. due to violations of federal law. Ultimately, your drivers will learn that it's just not worth using the devices.?